10 Feb

Excess Repetition Accumulation Transformation

The Euphorbia climbing over the wall of the courtyard

Good Morning.. it is lovely and sunny here this morning but cold. Not I am sure as cold as Toronto …I hope the lovely day after a snow storm sun is shinning on everyone. I always feel the one or two sunny days after the snow storm with the blue sky and the sun gleaming on the white is the treat of winter. Here, I have sun gleaming on the roof tiles and on the cacti or euphorbias by the pavilion where I am living and working.

the french doors in my inside studio

 

This is one of the many french doors leading to the outside of the pavilion either into the garden or into the courtyard. Check out my boxes of silicone!

My post today is about the preparation for my project here at Lotusland. What I did before I got here.

excess-repetition-accumulation-transformation

The key words for this project really helped me to clearly see where I was heading…sort of.

So to begin! I first headed to the Al Green Sculpture Studio, a member based open studio for sculptors in Toronto.sculpture studio

Here I consulted with their knowledgeable staff, Director Melanie Chikofsky and Nicholas Crombach, the amazing studio technician. This was a helpful path as it helped me to sort out what kind of moulds to make etc. A second opinion is always welcome. Further, both Melanie and Nicholas were with me all the way so when I had questions or catastrophe’s they were the dream team helping me re-think my process or direction. I couldn’t have asked for better support.

Dutch tiles with tin glaze on a bench near the citrus garden

Dutch tiles with tin glaze on a bench near the citrus garden

 

Remember theses tiles from previous posts… well this was the first element I interpreted. I wanted to make the tile 3-d and as I had done this before I started at this comfortable place.

making tiles using a paper copy as reference for the tessellation

making tiles using a paper copy as reference for the tessellation
here is the paper maquette and the first clay tile.

the silicone mould

the silicone mould

 

From this I framed up the clay and poured a silicone mould.

beeswax tile

beeswax tile

Here are the final results. Beeswax tiles ready for the wall.

I decided too, to have objects such as a miniature candle stick and a pineapple and doorknobs extrude from these tiles on the wall.

miniature candlestick

miniature candlestick

beeswax pineapple

beeswax pineapple

extruded from the tiles and ready to be mounted onto the walls

extruded from the tiles and ready to be mounted onto the walls

wax doorknobs

wax doorknobs

more beeswax tiles

more beeswax tiles

juicy and fleshy

juicy and fleshy

Then came the succulents. These were more difficult as they have many undercuts. Melanie was a great help and between the two of us we resolved many issues. Would they be one part moulds or two parts? I was worried that they would be heavy going onto the wall ..How to make them lighter etc? This was one place where Melanies’s expertise really helped. This was a real collaboration.

Melanie smoothing the petals

Melanie smoothing the petals

The largest succulent

The largest succulent

five sizes

five sizes

We made several different sized moulds.
Succulents on the table waiting to be placed on the wall

 

Last but not least are the lotus pods.
dried lotus pods

melting the wax so as to seal the pod

melting the wax so as to seal the pod

These needed to be cut so they would lie flat and they also needed to be sealed so the silicone wouldn’t penetrate. My solution that was to dip them in beeswax and then slowly melt it off. I did this in layers so to create a solid form.

lotus pod moulds with lots of undercuts

lotus pod moulds with lots of undercuts

 

Then I made 17 different moulds to give me the variety needed for the installation.

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

The final results are quite wonderful.

Well now it is time to get back to the casting and installing business for today. The project is well underway but my time is running out.

 

A quote from Ganna Walska

“Oh… if only I could stop Time!”

personally, I would just like a pause to catch up!

 

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08 Feb

Inspiration

boicelli pool There was so much to see on those first walks through the garden in October.  I wasn’t sure what  shape this new beeswax architecture  would take.  Yes it would use the room as aramture but what else?  Was it an exercise in pattern or tessellation or would it be a tableau? To be honest Lotusland was inspiration at every turn… too much!    I was astonished at the scope of every eccentric aspect of the estate.  One of my favorites was this  clam shell pool.  It is encrusted at the edges with huge abalone shells and flanked by huge tiered clam shell  fountains spilling into the pool.  There is something simultaneously inviting and menacing  about it and as I said it is one of my favorite places.

boticelli fountain

then there was the plant life…white cacti

these Euphorbia that were pale greeny white and the edges looked like they had been stitched.

 

urn and succulents 1

or the succulents in ornamental urns or carpeting the ground.

chicks carpet

imagine an entire garden devoted to blue.

chick

I loved the juicy layers

red velvet

then there was the cactus that had red velvet dots…

cacti red velvet

I love polka dots… but these are deadly.

blue swirl tile

and then there were the tiles…everywhere.

blue swirl tile and steps 2

on steps and benches and fountains and

tile bench

 

bench tiles

bench2

 

tile blue 1

the fountain at the entrance to the house was my my favorite fountain.  It was the faucet that cinched it for me.

tap 5

I am not usually one for the Goddess imagery but this one is special.

tap 4

The water spews from the gills of the dragon while it drips from the Goddesses breasts.

walkway 3

and then there is the slag glass… As story goes like the abalone shells someone came to the estate and spoke to Ganna Walska to see if she was interested in a truck load of slag glass.  This is excess glass that is thrown away after firing in a glass factory.  She immediately took the load and began to edge all the beds in the garden with this blue glass.  It is everywhere.

slag glass

so much inspiration I didn’t quite know how to narrow it down.  Eventually I came up with four words that described this place.

Excess- Repetition- Accumulation and Transformation

I decided then that I would translate 2 tiles that I had encountered in the garden.  They are purple floral and baroque and I learned today Dutch .

tiles5

tile #1

purple tiles

tile #2

chick bouquet

and I would make a tableau of succulents- a carpet on the wall…

lotus pods

The third element I would cast were  lotus pods.  I wanted to encrust them and edge them the way Walska had encrusted the abalone shells and the slag glass. Somehow too, I was going to incorporate objects, unexpected objects into the walls on the perpendicular similar I think to the way in which the Goddess faucet juts out.

All of course in beeswax- my sensory architectural material

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