08 Mar

Almost There!

It became pretty hectic the last week of casting and installing Daphne so it was hard to get to the blog.  I am now at home but will finish up the story of my wonderful residency at Lotusland.

My strategy when I started to install was to first create an inventory of the different tiles and colours of the beeswax.  I had a beautiful brown wax and a bright yellow wax plus colours in between that once melted became the colour of caramel and butterscotch…  food analogies!  The different colours are a result of the plant life in the realm of the bee and also oxidization. Here are images of my stock piles.  The lotus pods I decided should have a monochromatic look while the colour of  the tiles, objects and succulents I wanted to vary to allow for randomness in my installation.

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

various sizes and colours

various sizes and colours

succulents on the table waiting to be placed on the wall

succulents on the table waiting to be placed on the wall

After I had an inventory I began to work steadily on the back wall which I had decided would be the site for the lotus pods.  I made a decision to frame the door with the pods encrusted the way Ganna Walska had used the abalone shells at the clam shell pool.

the building of the lotus pod wall

the building of the lotus pod wall

Of course while I was installing I was also madly casting tiles to keep the inventory high.

the encrusted abalone shells around the clamshell pool

the encrusted abalone shells around the clamshell pool

pattern and field tile moulds full of beeswax

pattern and field tile moulds full of beeswax

pattern tiles

pattern tiles

succulent moulds cooling

succulent moulds cooling

Raj carrying in the last shipment of beeswax.

Raj carrying in the last shipment of beeswax.

Raj and Robert were amazing and helped with many aspects of my installation.  From carrying in the wax (30lb blocks)and helping each morning to put the wax into the large pot.

Raj gently placing the beeswax block into the large pot

Raj gently placing the beeswax block into the large pot

lotus pods

lotus pods

pod wall almost complete

pod wall almost complete

The wall was almost finished and just needed more lotus pods.  I began the baroque tile wall next.

Raj drilling holes into the objects before we put them on the wall

Raj drilling holes into the objects before we put them on the wall

tile wall building quickly

tile wall building quickly

the pinapples and candelabras and doorknobs are being added

the pinapples and candelabras and doorknobs are being added

I was happy with the combination of the tiles and the objects

I was happy with the combination of the tiles and the objects

love this view

love this view

finally the succulent wall

finally the succulent wall

 

The succulent wall carpet was heavy and I used green masking tape to hold things in place until they had set.

The succulent wall carpet was heavy and I used green masking tape to hold things in place until they had set.

 

I also added pattern tiles which I loved the texture of

I also added pattern tiles which I loved the texture of

 

the colour variations are lovely

the colour variations are lovely

Daphne is complete. In tomorrows post I will unveil the whole thing with images of the opening too.

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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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