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.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Yesterday, when searching through Ralph Mayer’s encyclopaedic Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques  I came across the word “ganosis”.  It means, the toning or dulling of stone sculpture by the application of colours mixed with wax.  It seems that the technique was also used to reduce the shine of marble, especially on naked parts of statue.  (Don’t ask me why specifically the “naked parts”!)

Can this technique be the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that I have been searching for ever since I saw the subtle yellow earth tone colours of some plaster casts in the National Portrait Gallery thirty years ago.  I have tried all ways to achieve the same effect, but to no avail. 
In the meantime, what I have become a dab hand at is giving plaster the appearance of bronze.  Indeed, the man who applies the patina to bronze at the Morris Singer Foundry claims that I can get plaster to look more like bronze than he can!  The first picture shows a seated figure in plaster coloured to resemble bronze, whereas the second picture shows an actual bronze cast. 

I am now tempted to try ganosis on my reclining torso – specifically, the naked parts.

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