Sunday, October 16, 2011

Relief Collage

I can't believe it's been so long since my last post! I've been hard at work painting and have finished two new paintings and underpainted another too!

Today I've invented a new art form! I've been decorating the doors to my reliquary (which have annoyingly bent due to moisture, see how the left one is raised at the top and bottom). These are mirror smooth sheets of plaster, the casting of which took many days of agonies. Then, decoration. At first I used an air-dried clay to add details to the surface but then I thought I'd try something new and today did it.

I began by doing a "texture hunt", and went into the garden to collect leaves, bark, twigs and other things that might produce a good texture in plaster. Then I mixed up some plaster and poured it onto glass, casting bits of leaf and other things, also sandwiching it with more glass to produce one very smooth flat side to these experimental sheets. When dry after only about half an hour I removed the sheets, which broke into millions of pieces like a jigsaw. This was intentional. I then picked out the interesting shapes and interesting textures.

You can see them on the left. I then glued them onto the doors. This was most fun and was a sort of cross between a mosaic and a collage. I used air dried clay to smooth off any sharp edges. The results were good and it worked much more efficiently than carving (with less mess too!)

My big worry with this is the fragility of the plaster and I'll have to be very careful. I'm wondering if I should take a latex copy of the front carvings just in case, although there is a risk that that process will cause damage (because I've never tried it before). If the cabinet is too delicate then I might have to forego entering it into any major exhibitions, which would be a microdisaster. I'm toying with the idea of displaying the work myself on a pay-per-view basis. It might be the only way it'll be seen.

The paintings for the inside have been underpainted now, and I want to glaze these next. I've got one painting idea that isn't underpainted but I'm rather tired of the lengthy process and disenthused with painting so I'm thinking of painting that one in one layer. My other paintings in progress will take at most two days each, excluding the giant Quest For Pity, which I started back in March and hasn't been touched since!

Once the front is carved the next step is to seal it and glue it to the doors, then the hinges will be attached, then the gliding and the attachment of any gemstones. Then I'll need a glass heart of some sort for the paintings, and the final sculpture (most likely in air-dried clay) for the top, and possibly an arrow if it will fit. I want it completed as soon as possible.



-Don said...

Wow, what an undertaking! But, it sounds like the process is quite exciting and fun. A creative adventure...

Gotta' love it!


Mark Sheeky said...

It was a lot of fun! Doing so much plaster work this year has really eaten up my time but it's a material I'm beginning to like.