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.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In the pink

If Michelangelo’s or Rodin’s highly skilled teams of mouleurs had returned from their heavenly abode and visited my studio today they could have given me a break and carried on with the waste mold for my reclining figure. At the same time they might have suggested that I hang around so as to learn a few things.

Rodin’s mouleurs had devised new methods of making plaster casts. They were able to cast enormous sculptures that were amazingly light and strong. For example, one man alone could lift a life-size cast of Rodin’s Thinker. Alas, those remarkable artisans took their skills and secrets to the grave and I find myself continually having to learn afresh and re-invent the wheel.

One thing that has never changed in five-hundred years is the method of applying the first thin layer of plaster over the clay form. The plaster has to find its way into every crevice but at the same time any contact by hand would mark the surface of the clay. The only way is to dip ones fingers into a bowl of plaster the consistency of thin cream and flick it on to the sculpture. My inventive engineering background has sought alternative methods but this is the only one that works. It’s a messy job with plaster flying in all directions.

This first layer of plaster is coloured so as to serve as a warning when chipping the waste mold  from the plaster cast within. Without the pink tint, there would be no way of differentiating the white plaster of the mold from the white plaster of the cast.

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