Thursday, February 19, 2015

A new piece, in-progress - Part 1.

Welcome back to Studio Stuffsmith!

A flurry of activity has kept the lights burning late recently. Let's walk together through one of them.

Many times, while demonstrating a particular technique in a classroom or on an instructional video, I will begin something that warrants further pursuit later on. 

So it was that during the filming of my 'Steeling Beauty: Chains, Clasps and Forms in Steel Wire' workshop (airring online for the last time in June of this year) I enveloped this tin baking mold with a steel wire harness.

 These stills from the workshop video show it getting started.

As I moved on to the next stage of filming, the piece was put in my in-progress box, where it sat until now. Time to take it and see it through.

I choose this Victorian spoon as the back to the tin, creating a chamber that can be viewed through the portal I've cut.

As they are wildly different shapes, I'll design connections that will try to allow them to snug up  in the best way possible. I decide to lash them together with twine. Holes are drilled around the periphery of the spoon.

Corresponding holes are drilled into the mold, and then a panel of mica is cut to seal the window of the piece.

The front as it stands now. The rust is encouraged, as I have been planning on covering the metal in such a way as to take advantage of that rust.

Now to work the interior of the spoon.

 Oak acorn caps from my recent journey to Canberra will be used in the chamber.

A terrific hand-tinted engraving from the 1840's will furnish me with the imagery needed.

Readying to go into the caps.

Air-drying and waiting their turn in the assembly.

The incredible engraved detail of the skirt will work perfectly inside the bowl of the spoon.

Now a rather complex multi-day resin pour begins, where there will be several planes of resin pools.

The addition of leaf-insect eggshells and sea-urchin spines nestle around the acorn caps, completing the tableau to be glimpsed inside. This will be the last time I see it unfettered, as once the piece is closed up, the viewer will only see hints of the interior. 

Allowing the contents to extend beyond the viewers' range allows for the slow unfurling of details on repeated viewings. I love that.

A beautiful high-tensile 1900's twine is worked around the piece, lashing the two assemblies permanently together.

About to close the clamshell, as it were.

Slowly working my way around the mold, knotting the twine into place.

Much to do yet! Join me next time as we bring it all together.