Friday, 31 July 2015

42nd Entry - Moulds and other things in life

The things you strive to do well, you do not do enough.
Moulds are no exception.  Each time you approach this task, you believe to be generous with the time you give yourself, and confident of a greater knowledge than you had previously.  Or rather, you seem to expect to have some sort of second nature for such things.

What did not help with the time was that you were able to brake one of the most precious things of these years of work, and the precise thing this new mould was required for, in preparation for beginning.

What did not help with time is that you forgot many things you had learned, because you expect the many weeks between the activity of mould making not to allow for forgetfulness.

Pushing ahead, the same white modelling wax used for the original sculptures
was used to resculpt the lost lids.

Rousseau, Isolde, and Anna, ready for a new silicone mould

These things don't get any easier.
Hopefully, however, they do get a little better

Mould Life's Transil 40, tinted,
poured from high up to try and minimise air bubbles.
250g used for this side. 24 hour curing time for each side of the mould.

The delicate eyelids did not survive the moulding.
Isolde's face oddly detached from her head
in the place where it had been cast separately
for easier access to the back of the eyes when,
the plaster piece was carved for empty sockets.

some small air bubbles, and some larger ones in the ears,
but all in all a successful mould for its purpose.

The case line of this mould was designed to leave the ears on the back side.
This allows for better access to the eyes, from the back, when
brushing casting material into the small valleys of the eyelids,
and allows for gravity to assist in filling the ears with casting material.

Unscrewing the steel ball from the back of the face before removing
clay casts from the mould proved to be very difficult with normal tweezers.
They would not grip properly to the ball, so a pair of philatelic tweezers were
modified with polymorph and tape.
Many attempts for a successful cast were made, but
in twisting the steel ball off its threaded pin,
the detail that was trying to be saved was altered.
The solution was to cut into the back of the mould to allow
for access to the pins from the other side, leaving the balls untouched
within the casts.

Eyelids were properly cast only when the assistance of a heat gun was
used. The molten clay was brushed in, and then reheated and made to flow
inside the mould with the heat gun.  This forced the clay to reach the desired and
difficult areas of the mould,
but it also created bubbles.

Positioning the head to the body.
These pictures were taken between July 29th, and August 7th, 2015.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

40th Entry - A New Face

The fourth and last character, only a notion, until now.
Mr. Bernard, becoming.

July 23rd, 2015

July 27th, 2015

39th Entry - A Return

After another long pause, this time in China, work has recommenced.

Interesting how the atmosphere can so greatly affect your work flow.  In April you worked with Castilene, and the room was so cold, your hands so cold, that you were forced to switch to the slightly softer and stickier Degas plastilene.  Still, work was impossible without going for brisk walks or runs to try and warm your own body temperature so that your hands could work the clay.
In July, that same material was so soft that you had to ignore the reason for working with a hard clay to begin with.
By late July the temperature has started switching back and forth, quite ridiculously.

Between April and July you tried to simply sculpt new eyelids over the steel balls.  You thought you could do this simply and quickly, but found that your hands were wandering into other areas and you were changing the entire structure of the face.  To add the steel ball into the face, a hole is made, and the original eye lost forever. Creating a new eye in the place of the original is impossible, and hence, a differently positioned eye will lead to repositioning of the mouth, the brow, the jaw, and wherever else your eye may fall.
You felt you might as well improve the face, but found you were only losing what you'd had, and on the week of your birthday you decided to stop.  This all was senseless.  You needed to find a way to get a mould out of the plaster versions from March of 2013.  By now, these had long been the characters.  They had traveled with you in a small tin box to Canada, and again a year later to China. The technicality of getting a hard mould from a hard object, or a soft mould that would not impede the silicone from curing, had dissuaded you from contemplating this in the past.  And hence these many weeks, over the years, of battling with materials and your own inability to repeat your own creation.

The strange slipping away, and regrasping, and slipping further away of a face

In late June, after two weeks of traveling in Portugal, what had always seemed instinctively right, became necessary and a reality.  You childhood bedroom became your studio.
The move took two weeks.

Late May, still cold.