This week has been super hectic! And very stressful! It may seem from reading my blogs, that I am quite a laid back maker or that I do not get stressed out about deadlines, but trust me, I really do.
As our final ever university deadline creeps us on me, I have felt extremely panicked to get this piece finished. I am a totally over-ambitious person, with very high expectations of myself and making my big sculptural piece has been my ‘big dream’ target for the year, so finishing it for my deadline has been a hardest test of myself. Getting this piece finished will be the chance for me to prove everyone else wrong!
But this week, I have been able to make a start on the final construction phase! We started out by fabricating some kind of base piece, which allows my work to be fixed down and secure.
Still working with bronze, I milled out a disc and then cut this in half and drilled/shaped it. I used bronze for this so that I could get the strongest weld and so that when patinated, it would blend into the cast pieces and not stand out too much.
So once I had established a strong base, using some of the heavier bronze pieces, I was able to begin planning the rest of my piece, which I did by laying out my components on the workbench.
This planning stage was so important, because I had to have an idea of how the piece would balance, and how each section would fit together (how successful the welds would be).
After working out roughly which components I would be using, I then dove in and began constructing! This part of my making process is all about working organically, and seeing what works and letting the components/materials lead me. I love working like this, because it adds a kind of mystery to the work.
I began the welding by laying the piece on the workbench and earthing the bench. This was really effective, as I could lay the components down on top of the piece, and only had to apply pressure to keep them in position. Welding with the piece stood upright was much trickier, and getting the piece to stay in position and getting a successful earth was more difficult.
Finally, I had to remove it from the temporary base piece, which was this scrap wood found in the textiles department at uni. I then used this as a template for drilling the real base, which is this beautiful piece of sycamore.
I transferred the sculpture to the new base and it balanced perfectly! This made me so happy. It is actually really well balanced without the base when transporting too, which means it is completely manageable for one person to carry. I think it’s total final weight must be around 21kg.
All that I have left to do now is to tidy up any welds, with sanding or using the compressor pen to add details and textures back in. Also need to patinate it, seal with wax and also seal the base with wood lacquer.
That’s actually a lot to do, and I know I’m going to be pushed for time, so I will have to work at 100 mph!
Wish me luck!