Cast Shadows

I have been casting plaster into ice cube trays, these long sticks, triangular in section, make for interesting shadows. I made them in two sessions, the first set were marred (or so I thought) by air bubbles interrupting the ridge but having now been looking at them for some time, I like the randomness of the negative spaces. The second set were almost perfect though some have lost their corners. It was only after having photographed them that I saw the similarity to an large work in wood by Susumu Koshimizu 1971 – ‘From Surface to Surface’ that I had seen at the Tate Gallery.  From the label – ‘Koshimizu investigates the substance of wood by sawing planks into different shapes, exposing their surface qualities through different kinds of repetitive cuts. The geometric lines produced by an industrial saw contrast with the slit irregularities resulting from missing chips, slips of the saw, and rough surface of certain edges. Koshimizu was part of Mono Ha (School of Things), which reacted against the embrace of technology and trickery in mid 1960s Japanese art. They sought to understand ‘The world as it is’ by exploring the essential properties of materials, often combining organic and industrial objects and processes’
Having now reread the information label I am pleased to discover that we had in common, not only looking at repeated regular forms but also of their inconsistencies and flaws.  The particular reason for photographing  this work  was for the shadows that were being cast on the white walls by the multiple spotlights above. I can count 5 in this photo but I think there were more. Lighting my castings with several sources is something I must try.
Triangle Sticks

Triangle Sticks 2

Susumu Koshimimzu

Creating Shadows

Here are the Quails eggs which I am going to cast in order to set up some new shadow structures. I shall be making a mould of them in Chromium Alginate bought from Maragon, who sell everything one could need for casting in plaster and are the most helpful people. I am surprised at how much the eggs vary in size, shape and in texture, some are quite rough and gritty feeling and a few are very smooth. I have coated them all with petroleum wax to help with the moulding and I shall choose the nicest shaped ones with the smoothest surface. I do like the mottled colouring, they look good on the blue vintage French plate but Ido like to see them in black and white too. Quails Eggs on a blue plate

Qualis eggs to be cast

Creating Cast Shadows – Eggs

I want to explore creating shadows with eggs so I’m going to try making a mould so that all my eggs are the same shape. Some of these real eggs have subtle textures which I love, I don’t know if I will be able to combine areas of texture from several eggs into my mould, I hope so. I think the moulds will be half-eggs, which will make it easier to create the shadow effects I want.
Eggs in a row7 eggseggs

Bangor Pier

Looking through old family photo albums recently, I found images my Dad had made sometime in the early 1960s. I don’t recall having seen them before though I must have done at some time. Just two months ago I happened to be there, on Bangor Pier and took some very similar photos. I found that rather heart-warming, not the usual tourist choice, we must share some sensibilities and an interest in form. We must have both loved these detailed patterns made by the series of cast benches.

Bangor Pier 2012

Bangor Pier 2012

Shadows and Slots

I am continuing to explore creating shadows with simple forms. These 3/4 plaster spheres have been filed to make a slot and then all 49 placed in a grid with the slots randomly positioned. Who knows why but looking at it makes me feel calm and peaceful, (although a little annoyed that not every sphere is in focus) must try harder. The spheres are about the size of a mint imperial, no-one has been fooled yet luckily, they could be nasty if swallowed!slots

Creating Cast Shadows

Somehow I seem to have found myself moving almost full circle in my use of scale.  I began with intricate delicate jewellery in silver and moved abruptly in a dramatic change of scale to a few bulky fabrications in painted MDF, then mild steel sculpture as big as I could make it. I yearned to go bigger, larger than life but for that you need money, strength, a whole workshop full of specialist equipment, space and hopefully a commission. After a liberating but all too brief dalliance with pleated paper and an even briefer sojourn with copper sheet, I adopted a more restrained approach,  all white sculpture on a domestic scale in a medium quite new to me until now, cast plaster. Gradually and almost without realising what was afoot, the scale has slid back down, close to jewellery sized pieces.
Throughout this whole exploration of materials and processes, runs my habitual theme of repetition, it seems to be the one constant, indeed it is undeniably quite my favourite. And of course my second favourite, the aspect that sits so well with repetition – cast shadows.

 

Sally Wakelin pleated paper installation

Relueaux Triangle Sculpture

Soft daylight casting shadows over hemispherical arrangement

48 plus one

Creating Cast Shadows

Cast plaster hemispheres with small facets rotated in sequence.

Shadows on geometric plaster cast sculpture

The same cast hemispheres turned over in place, to rest on their facets.

Shadows on geometric plaster cast sculpture

Shadows on geometric plaster cast sculpture

Cast plaster “cakes” rotated in a set sequence around the four points of the compass.

cast plaster - Shadows on geometric sculpture