Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sneak Preview

Here are two low resolution phone snapshots of my current work in progress. It's a male reclining figure about 1/3 to 1/2 life size. Since he didn't require an armature, it will be possible to fire him in a kiln rather than cast him. This will be a lot less work and expense, but dangerous since there's always the possibility that the piece could break or even explode during the firing process. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish the sculpting with about six additional hours and then he'll have t0 be gradually dried to "leather hard" and hollowed out. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yma is home

On Friday, I finally made it down to the foundry to approve the metalwork and choose a patina. It was a bit nerve wracking to drive by the site of my near demise last week, but the car behaved very well. 

At the foundry, Danella, the artist in charge of the reassembly and chasing handed me a sharpie to note any areas for revision. After a few polishing touches, the sculpture was sandblasted again and taken to Steve the patinator. We discussed the various options and I chose a medium-dark version of a patina known as "French Brown". 

Steve bolted the piece onto a revolving stand,  heated it with a blow torch, and sprayed it with a coat of "liver of sulfur" or sulfurated potash. This turned it almost black. The next step was to rinse it with water, give it a quick blow dry and wipe back the darkness from the higher areas before massaging the whole thing with loose sand which gave it a nice burnished effect. In order to create  more depth and richness, we heated it again with an even larger blow torch and sprayed it with ferric nitrate which produced a warm red overtone. 

While the sculpture was still hot, Steve brushed it with wax. It would take another half hour for it to cool before the final coat of wax and buffing so I had a chance to witness a different piece being poured in the forge area before heading home. I'll post photos of the finished sculpture next week, in the meantime, enjoy the images from the final stage of the process!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yma is cast!

Yesterday I was excited to receive news (and photos) that Yma has been cast, reassembled, chased and is ready for a patina. In these photos you can see that bronze, in its natural state is really not very attractive so I need to decide what color she should be; probably a fairly traditional dark brown.

I was looking forward to finishing this process today, but on the way to the foundry in Tacoma my car broke down on the freeway and I had to spend the rest of the afternoon waiting for the tow truck, taking my car back to Seattle and then getting home. Hopefully, the car will be fixed in time to try again next week...