I have found the process of casting metal to be therapeutic due to the physical methods and time involved. I find that it relates to my practice well, offering the same levels patience and care. There is no quick way to do create work when casting with metal. It is a several day process, and one that I have quickly grown to adore.
For my second casting, I wanted to revisit the sculptures that I made last semester. I made several different types of mushroom out of bronze. There was a very experimental element this first time, as it was my first go at working with metal and I did not know how the mushrooms would turn out in the end. After completing it and feeling very happy with the outcome I wanted to create more; yet this time with one specific type of mushroom.
Below you can see the process, from the “tree” that I created during the wax work.
I then cut each of my mushrooms off of the tree using an angle grinder, and proceeded to grind down the bases to give a smooth outcome.
These are the mushrooms once cut from the tree, and with the bases smoothed down.
The one I am holding is actually from my first casting, and is a finished piece.
I then used a Dremel to give the mushrooms a more finished look. I wanted the mushrooms to still retain a lot of the textures colours that were revealed during the casting. I did not want them to be fully polished as I feel that this would give them an almost garish out come. However I still wanted them to have a golden, rich quality and by using a metal brush I was able to bring out the beautiful warm bronze that I feel gives them a twinkling, gold, precious appearance which exactly what I had wanted to achieve.
I still have more work to do before I feel that they are finished.
A long standing decision was how to display them. I had originally intended to inset a screw into the base, so that they could be screwed into a wall or other flat surface, imitating their natural positions. However, I feel like that would be placing them back to square one. As I have taken these mushrooms from their natural positions and I feel that to display them as such would be besides their purpose. I want these pieces to reveal the true beauty and fascination of nature and natural objects.
Considering this, I have noticed that people are very drawn to touching and holding them. They fit so pleasantly and ergonomically into peoples hands and this has led me to consider displaying them as an interactive piece. I will continue working along this thought trail when thinking of how I want these sculptures to be interpreted by their audience.