Week 8

Changing path

I have made some big decisions this week. After the Loughborough university degree show I decided that I wanted to increase the size of my sculptures and take it into the outdoor realm. After experimenting with jesmonite I have incurred problem after problem:

  • Material expense: The material is expensive. A liquid and powder needs to be combined to make the jesmonite mixture. After this, quadaxial glass netting needs to be dipped and placed on a carved polystyrene sculpture in three layers. Then the pattern needs to be applied onto the surface, this will require a slowing agent and coloured pigment so that the material doesn’t dry too fast. After being painted, a jesmonite acrylic sealer needs to be applied to protect the paint. Collectively, the materials are expensive. This restricts the experimenting able to be done with the material due to the prohibitive cost. It also makes the final sculptures high cost difficult to sell, especially this early within my professional practice.
  • Collective: I have found my sculptures only work as a collection and it is the abundance of multiple colours and forms which create the uplifting affect. This means I would need a collection of around 7 large sculptures to create the desired response in the viewer. Again cost is very prohibitive.
  • Sculpting polystyrene: I find this a difficult process as it is a reductive method of making. It is also a non-recyclable material and there is a lot of unavoidable excess waste when carving. It is also just a generally unpleasant material, it gets absolutely everywhere!
  • Storage: I need to bare in mind where the sculptures will be stored when the year programme has been completed. After the degree show, the sculptures I didn’t sell had to crammed into the shed where they are becoming damp and have been chipped in places. This is impractical long-term. However, due to the nature of the material (plaster and wire) they were relatively cheap to make so it was a lesson learnt. On the other hand, I don’t want to repeat those same mistakes and end up with a large collection of sculptures with no home. 

To conclude, I don’t think going large scale is feasible this year as due to: material expense, the lack of storage after the programme and environmental impact of the non-recycable material. 

New plan of action

I am going to refine my skills in clay and develop my sculptural forms. I have already began this week making moulds to create attachments for the sculptural surface. I have also been increasing the scale of the sculptures. I am also going to enlarge the collages, this is more affordable and they can be rolled up to store away. Working on a large scale will also hopefully help me free up my creative process. 

Sculpture sketches


Colour tests

I was really happy with the glaze colours, I have been trying to build glaze layers and colour schemes. I am definitely going to glaze them glossy as I am hoping the colour becomes more intense.

gaze test.jpg
Group of sculptures fresh out of the kiln
glaze test.jpg
Layered glazing for multicoloured effect