Commissioning work begins with a discussion of interested parties to explore a mutual and pleasing outcome. A maquette is a smaller scaled three dimensional sculpture proposal and is usually the blueprint for the larger sculpture.
Once approved a full scale armature is constructed and traditionally the modelling in clay begins with working an unclad figure before adding details of clothing.
From the original solid clay sculpture, moulds are taken by the foundry and a wax positive copy is taken from the negative rubber moulds.
The hollow wax castings are sprued and the internal space is filled with investment and pinned to prevent movement of the wax then encased in refractory moulds.
The refractory moulds are heated to melt out the wax and heat and strengthen the mould. Whilst the moulds are heated, bronze is melted at 1090 degrees c and the molten bronze is poured into the moulds and left to cool.
The moulds are broken open and the bronze is sandblasted to clean, then work begins on the long process of cutting, grinding, chasing .and welding to bring the piece together again in it’s original form before colouring or patination of the bronze and finishing with the final waxing to protect and seal it from the elements to finish the sculpture.
a.Miniature St Mary MacKillop and Children Bronze.
This series was commissioned by the Adelaide Archdiocese as a miniature after the unveiling of the original large bronze in 2009.
b.St Mary MacKillop Cold Cast Bronze Bust
I have offered schools and any interested parties, a sensitive image of Mary MacKillop as a “cold cast bronze” sculpture that is affordable to schools. This is a signed limited edition of 10 and a plaster Artist Proof (AP) The sculpture is life sized from the hips and is holding a crucifix to her chest.
My main concern was to show Mary as a kind, devoted and passionate young woman who was used to hard work. Her face needed to show her kindness and compassion, especially for school children to see.
The “cold cast bronze” is an epoxy resin cast with the gel-coat (or outer layers) being loaded with a very fine bronze powder to give the look of a true foundry cast bronze without the expensive price of bronze. The drawback is the life of the “cold cast bronze” about 20+ years if it is to be placed outdoors. It will need some maintenance in the way of UV protection, similar to boat hulls. A CCB bust indoors needs no special protection other than waxing.
The cast is treated with the same patina as bronze and waxed in the same way. The cast is backed with fibreglass and filled with a mixture of resin and aggregate to further strengthen and give the cast the weight of bronze.
The work can be cemented on to a base of stone or bolted to a base, the height at which it would be best viewed, would be at 80cm, on a plinth or table.
The cast has stainless steel anchor rods to be imbedded into it and the base and “Chemset” is most often used for permanent anchorage.
The cast dimensions are H:83 cm, W:60 cm, D: 52 cm.
St Mary MacKillop Half Life Sized Bronze
A new St Mary MacKillop bronze is in production to replace the CCB Bust in 2016 and is a Limited Edition of 10 in number.
A smaller 60cm sculpture of St Mary as a Limited Edition is also planned for the end of year 2016.
Bronze and Glass
I attended a workshop glass casting with David Reekie at the UNISA in 2006 and cast some of my moulds in crystal glass
Work on various portraits are part of sculpting.
In response to looking at terra cotta sculptures from the 16th century at the Art Gallery of SA I began working with terra cotta clay at the end of 2015. I wanted to make a series of small heads that I might go on to colour or complete the figure in clay as an alternative to.
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