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

Creating Cast Shadows

A simple arrangement of hemispherical castings on a white background produces a rich variety of grey tones.

Early morning sunlight casting shadows over hemispherical arrangement

Later when the sun has moved around the shadows are much softer

Soft daylight casting shadows over hemispherical arrangement

Soft daylight casting shadows over hemispherical arrangement

Progress in casting

I have at last succeeded in making the piece I had planned, though this is very much a test piece, I think I have made all the required mistakes now, so when I make another, it will be of good quality.

Speeding up the drying process by putting the cast in the oven at less than 50°C leaving the door ajar so that moisture can escape, can prevent rust stains forming (seen here in the third image).

Geometric Sculpture - Relueaux TriangleRelueaux Triangle SculptureRelueaux Triangle SculptureRelueaux Triangle Sculpture

Reuleaux Sculpture - First customer

My first customer