My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A messy business...

At the height of his career, Rodin had thirty moulders taking casts from his clay figures.  As for me, I’m sculptor, moulder and labourer rolled into one. 

The method of making a mould hasn’t changed since the time of Michelangelo.  First the figure is divided into sections with lengths of brass shim.  In the case of the torso, it is simply a top and bottom. 

Plaster is then mixed to the consistency of thick cream and flicked on the clay with the fingers.  It’s a messy business.  What misses the clay goes everywhere else.

When the flick coat has set, more plaster is towelled on so as to build up the strength of the mould. 

At least, that’s it in simple terms.  In practice, there are many complications and pitfalls along the way.  It’s a daunting task, because if the mould fails all is lost.

Cleaning up at the end of a day of mould making is what once put paid to the career of one hopeful sculptor sent to my studio for work-placement.  After a couple of days, he went back to college to switch courses.  He found sweeping plaster off the floor “too demeaning”!

1 comment:

  1. Roger thanks so much for sharing your process with us. It is fascinating and I never realised there was so much involved. The flicking looks like fun :-)