How my work is made
Clay Busts and Masks:
A master head is sculpted in clay, from which I make plaster moulds. The cast or pressed ceramic pieces that result from this process are then manipulated and modified with added hand-built elements to create unique works which, nonetheless, share a common origin. The process is similar to that of print making, in that one original design can be reproduced many times, with each copy having the ability to be subtly changed, depending on the amount of artist intervention.
The Process: Once the mould is dry, I press an extremely fine stoneware clay into it, which I then work on further and make adjustments and alterations, such as deepening creases, and opening the mouth. I hand-build the rest of the figure from a blend of stoneware and my own paper clay. Sometimes I keep the head as a separate piece so that I can include a neck joint, giving the finished sculpture the ability to be posed according to the viewer’s desire. The pieces are then coloured using light washes of oxides and stains and finished with artist pigments and the application of Dutch metal leaf.
Resin Wall Art and Tiles:
I use a high grade polyurethane resin* to cast my work because it has a high resistance to moisture and temperature fluctuations and takes very fine detail. (This is not the same as cheap polyester resin, which can become brittle with age and exposure to sunlight.)
*From 2017 I have also begun working in Jesmonite - a water-based, environmentally kind resin - to make larger sculptures suitable for outdoor display.
A master is sculpted in clay and then covered with a layer of rubber. Several more layers are applied to create a skin mould. When the last layer has cured, a supporting jacket of jesmonite and plaster is added. Once this has dried, the jacket can be lifted off and the rubber peeled away from the clay. Sometimes I am lucky enough to be able to preserve the original clay sculpture intact and these are fired and colored to sell as one-off pieces.
The resin is then mixed with pure marble, bronze or iron powder, depending on the desired finish and poured into the mould. Each cast is then trimmed and polished or hand-painted and gilded, ready for mounting or framing.
Original clay sculpture
Finished clay sculpture from press-mould
Above: rubber mould and two-part jesmonite jacket
Below: rubber mould removed from clay sculpture
Bronze resin casting, polished and finished with verdigris wax