Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pa (father)

In 2009 I experimented with different methods of making cement sculptures. To that end I took a class on making sculptures by building cement onto a wire frame. As a project I chose to make a big head taking my inspiration from the Olmecs' big head sculptures. I choose to not make it as stylized as the Olmec big heads, but to rather make it a more realistic portrait. As subject, I choose my father, using reference photo's to build the facial features.
The base of the sculpture is a wire frame, onto which the cement was packed. It turned out that cement does not just stick to wire so the outside had to be lined with black bags and packaging tape. After the hollow ball was formed the facial features was made. Working with wet cement is different to working with clay as the cement's consistency is that of wet mud, that slumps without keeping its shape. This caused the build to advance very slowly since I had to wait for each layer to get dry enough before adding the next layer.  It was finished with a black oxide and cement varnish, coated with a green oxide in a wax polish.
I was very pleased with the end product and presented it to my father as a gift for his 70th birthday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quote Ring

In 2008 I made a series of quote rings.
A quote Ring is a group of words printed on different lengths of paper, tied together to form a ring at the base. It is clamped in a wooden block with a hinge at the one side and a magnet at the other. These words forms a quote. The source of the words are stamped in the side of the wooden block. 

The quote in this ring is from Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world"

This quote ring was selected for an international art exhibition and was exhibited in the following places:
2009 March 12 -15, Leipzig Book Fair, Germany; 
2009 April 30 - May 16, Gallery "Arka" Vilnius, Lithuania;
2009 September 16 - December, Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, Silkeborg, Denmark;

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Making a basic watercolor sketchbook

I do a lot of watercolor sketches of late, but the type of sketchbooks I like, I can't find, so I made a batch of them. As book binding go, these are very basic.

It starts by getting a pad of  200g A4 watercolor paint paper. I could not find one so I bought a A3 pad and cut it in half. For the covers I used scrapbook pages.

Each book is made from 10 A4 pages folded in half, giving me 40 sides to paint on. The covers are cut to about 2.5 mm bigger on all sides of the pages.

I reinforced the spine of the cover with a 50mm wide book binding tape on the outside.

The pages was marked at 35 mm intervals that will give me 5 holes along the spine. I used my sewing machine to punch holes through the markings. The thread is tied at both ends. To add the cover the process is repeated, with the cover added. The thread ends are trimmed off.

When the paper is folded, the ends form a V shape that makes it difficult to flip through the pages. This is trimmed to a strait edge when folded.

I find the ends of the book gets quite frayed as the cover is not as resilient as leather of cardboard. A strip of packaging tape is added to the edges of the cover on the inside.

All the corners of the pages and covers are punched with a quarter round punch giving a neat finish to a great sketchbook.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Alphabet B and Gertruida a gift for Annelie Botes

Alphabet B is part of the Alphabet series (2009) discussed in a previous post. The idea was to build a scrabble like set of letters with which you could build words. Each letter was formed by pressing a blob of white ceramic paper clay into a plaster of Paris mold. The the medallions where dried, fired, decorated and fired again. The final product was displayed on a wooden tray.

It was during the making of Alphabet B that I heard the author Annelie Botes discuss her book Thula-Thula. The book tells the story of an incestuous relationship of a man raping his daughter. During the rapes the girl would escape the horror by playing word games with her name. She would shape and reshape the letters of her name to form new words. It was as if she was playing scrabble with her name.
Her name was Gertruida.
The story moved me deeply and I felt that I had to present Annelie Botes with a gift. Something from Alphabet B. I molded an extra set of letters G E R T R U I D A, made a scrabble stand and a tube holder for her. I got hold of Annelie Botes via her publisher and presented her with Gertruida, as thanks for her work.