Research methods of molding and discuss choice of molding materials and why
I used latex and plaster bandages, clay, plaster, paper mache and concrete for this project. It was a mix of cost and availability and excitement I felt for them that made me settle on these. I used bubble wrap, plastic veg trays, pebbles and skin to cast my materials on to.
I made a mold from latex and plaster bandages of my son’s hand, I used this in the next oart of the assignment but really wanted to also show the surface of the mold in this part as the latex and plaster gave such a perfect rendition of his skin!
I tried to make a latex cast of my foot but couldn’t sit still long enough and couldn’t support the mould enough so it tore when i removed my foot. I used the thin “skin” with imprints of my skin in the bottom of a dish and poured plaster over it and got some great random skin imprints in the plaster!
I really enjoyed using plaster, the first batch made a smooth and easy material to work with, it picked up lots of detail and made a lovely imprint of among other, some bubble wrap, my outside stairs, and some gravel in my garden. The second batch I mixed up stayed grainy, didn’t have the same strength and dried badly. Hey ho. But even the batch that worked very well is fragile, it’s not a strong material! Here I used the outside of a bubblewrap envelope.
Here I cast clay on to my metal stairs
Below I used plaster to cast into an empty plastic tray
The clay did not work very well. It was neither pliable enought to fill a mould, or pick up details, nor did it dry nicely without cracking. Not a succesful material for this, much better for freestyle building I’m sure. Below is a picture of the clay cast on to the bubblewrap envelope
I had a lot of fun with concrete. I had bought cement and had some play sand at home, but didn’t buy any aggregate. I didn’t know it needed any! I did a lot of research and talked my to son who sudies material sciences and I decided to try with just cement , sand and water and it worked absolutely fine!
I poured concrete into trays that had held mushrooms, and dates, and it picked up the texture from the trays perfectly
The papier mache went badly wrong. It was so gloopy it never dried! I poured it into a plastic take away tray, and set it upside down on some cardboard. The top layer of the mache I had created from tissue paper, this dried quickly and picked up the corrugated cardboard texture quite well. But the strips of newspaper under neath didn’t dry at all, and in the end I took it out of the tray, but despite being on the radiator for weeks it’s still not totally dry and it has sagged and lost its shape. I think it is great in thin layers to pick up a shape but not to pour into something to pick up texture.
I used plaster poured in to a plastic bin bag and dried it on top of some gravel. There are two confliciting textures going on here, and it is hard to see the gravel as the grooves from the bag are so much sharper and more distinct.
After this mold had dried I used it as a new mold and layered it with clay, which has reduced the folds and lines further to something softer, and altogether different.
Below I used both clay and concrete in a take away coffee cup lid. The clay picked up more detail but as it could not be poured it retained cracks sadly.
I poured concrete into the egg tray from my fridge. Alas the later of concrete connecting the dips in the tray wasn’t string enough to hold the semi domes together so they all broke apart but I quite like my little concrete shapes
After looking at work by Bethany Walker I decided to attempt to pour concrete over some of my yarn experiments from ATV and also over a wrapping experiment from MMT2 and it worked really well. I didn’t add anything to the yarn I had created to allow it to be released from the concrete or to stop the concrete adhering to it but I found some stray bits of concrete could just be removed to make it all a little neater after it had dried. I liked how it completely trasnformed thr yarn from something airy and lacy to a solid piece, with weight and substance and an entirely different purpose to it. it can no longer be used to weave or join or wrap or knot but it can now be used to provide a base or a weight to something, as an ornament, a complete item, whereas yarn is always an ingredient, a starting point, never really an end. I am going to varnish my smaller object so I can use it as a pattern weight when dressmaking.
The larger wrapped object, which was wrapped around an empty milk bottle, became a different piece once half suspended in a bowl full of concrete. Once dry I carefully removed the bottle allowing the wrapping to gently collapse in on itself, changing the structure once again. The bottom of the piece picked up a locely detail from the bowl I had used (an empty takeaway container) and shows some of the wrapping peeking through. I was inspired by artists using yarn and textiles submerged in concrete but after trying it I am despereta to know how they achieved a clear division between concrete and not-concrete as my concrete was less easy to control!
The top half of the object created feels like soething that has burst fro the soil in spring!