Friday, October 28, 2011

This is becoming something of a challenge.(1)

This is a maquette about 6" high for a sculpture of some sort of priestess making an offering. The idea grew from research done in Cyprus into early Hellenic civilizations when a matriarchal society was the norm. The priesthood played a central role and of course the temples were run by women. Fast forward to more modern times and we see that making offerings has always been an essential part of religious practice. Using the Minoan era as a starting point a series of drawings were made during the 2008/9 residencies  both in Lempa and Larnaka. More of these anon.

From the drawings the idea of a sculpture, if not a series of sculptures, emerged and the above maquette was made.This was further developed to become a larger piece with a view to casting, probably plaster.

However I became dissatisfied with it.  I decided a wood carving might be a better idea.The question now was, should it be carved from a single piece or should I make a construction laminating several pieces of wood and making the carving from that? The whole thing was shelved for a year or so.
Then I took delivery of an ash tree which had been felled some six months ago.
A section of the trunk was selected and cut. There were a few minor shrinkage cracks but nothing to worry about too much. Or so I thought.

Once the bark had been removed and I commenced carving the cracks widened dramatically as this example shows. This is another piece of the same tree which I'm leaving until it settles down. The carving I started, developed a wide crack right down the front which is exactly where I didn't want it. As time went by the crack continued to widen until the whole piece was quite distorted. The hands that are to hold the bowl have ended up not parallel but at 45 degrees with one hand as intended but the other rotated outwards.
This is what I mean by this particular project becoming something of a challenge.
However, after leaving it for a few days to see how far it will go, it seems to have "settled down" somewhat and today was spent rectifying the situation. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

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