Monday, October 24, 2011

Bronze Drip Letter Opener

This Letter-Opener was fashioned by a combination of accidental and purposeful means. During the casting of my piece entitled "Face Sheild" (seen below) some bronze was spilled onto the sand pit. This natural drip formation fits the ergonomics of the hand with an eerie ease. Left with an as-cast surface the handle is contrasted by the etched and polished brass blade. These features combine to give a perception of age and history. Akin to ancient tools- it holds a faux sense of mystical value.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Ultimate Collaboration

I recently rescued many items from my families old mini storage in California. While I was going through it all i came across a wax carving my late mother had made when I was in elementary school. This incomplete carving of myself had a wonderful array of textures and history to it- my mom had sculpted the head and a part of the shoulder, and (presumably without permission) I had secretly doodled a face onto it. This wax carving that had been sitting idle for the last 10-15 years till I found it. Realizing the odd collaboration (a concept I have been working with in my art) that had happened between my mother and I with out intending I immediately cast it in bronze and now have a small monument to our shared artistic goals and the link we have. I have since then made copies for the other members of my family and intend to give them out this coming Christmas.

Face shield

It had been an interest of mine to make a suit of armor many years ago, and while my whimsical idea was never completed I did begin an attempt at making the helmet from cast metals. The faceplate of the helmet was to be a detailed mold of my face, however certain complications arose and the idea became unrealistic. Above you see one of the wax patterns for the faceplate- I ended up with two separate cast bronze faces which I feel are more successful than any helmet I could have created.

Here you get a glimpse on the full process that goes into creating a cast metal piece. Once you have a pattern in wax or any other flammable material (like mine seen above) you attach sprews and a cup to a carefully selected section of your mold (sprewing varies piece by piece). These sprews are more wax tubes that will eventually act as the arteries that feed your casting the metal it needs, the cup, not only acts as a funnel directing the metal to the arteries and the casting but it provides a weight that forces metal into the deeper sections of your mold. While there is much more on the reasons/benefits and so forth of sprews and cups there isn't enough room on this blog so I will leave it with that simple explanation.
Once you have your piece "sprewed up" you dip it several times over the course of hours/days in a ceramic slurry mix and sand. Once it has reached an appropriate thickness and is dry you place it in a kiln to burn the wax out and bake the shell much like you would a clay pot. This leaves you with a hollow shell in which to pour your metal. The picture above is just after one of the faces has been cast and a section of the shell has been removed. It is a long challenging process but once it is all done your piece will look great... if you did it right.

I only have detailed photos of one of the two faces however you can see the wonderful detail and beauty you can achieve. You also get to see one of my favorite pieces yet created.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hand Casting

Near the end of 2010 I had a realization that much of my work is based on the subject of the body. While that is a subject for another day, I'm posting a few images of a smaller piece that is a investigation of those ideas. It was a two part mold of my hand that i subsequently cast in aluminum and bronze. The cast came out with spectacular detail and is a good investigation for my ultimate goal of creating a full body cast.

Batman Belt Buckle

This was a commissioned piece that I made for a friend of mine's Halloween costume.
It is two pieces of etched brass, riveted together, with a black patina to highlight the batman logo. I am very happy with the way it turned out and it was a wonderful little project.