Category Archives: In-Process

More Sculpture… coming soon!

Why hello!

So I’ve mostly been working on my comic project with James as I say, but recently I received an email from the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney inviting me to exhibit in their Orkney Graduates show. It’ll be taking place between February and March of next year (2013) though I think dates are still uncertain at this stage.

I’ve decided to make something new for the show, (mostly because of the contempt I feel for most of the stuff I created during uni…) so I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to make. Animal forms are definitely high up in the list as usual, and I was thinking of potentially revisiting the black silicone I used before, as I feel like I haven’t used the material to its full potential just yet. We shall see! Drawings and brainworks may be afoot!

Despite the rising fear of coming back to contemporary sculpture, I’m really excited to be exhibiting in Orkney, especially in the Pier Arts Centre and alongside friends.

A quick look back…

Here’re some images from the prosthetics short-course I did in Glasgow in August ’11.

These photos don’t include the lengthy process of casting our own faces, and creating fibreglass positives of our face to build the clay on top of. Just the sculpting and application process.

Here’s the clay sculpt I made on top of my own face.

What I sculpt in the positive is directly cast into silicone, like so! You can see how thick the silicone is in places, and how thin and translucent it is in others. We used platinum based silicone for this cast, which is an absolutely amazing material (but very expensive…)

I had a little bit extra so I uh, smeared it all over my arm and added some fake blood. I will not be doing that again… it took a lot of my arm hair with it when I peeled it off…

So here he is after many, many hours of colouring. Because of the flexible nature of the silicone, you can’t straight up paint it because the paint cracks and flakes off. So to colour the silicone I had to mix oil paint with a very small amount of the plat gel silicone, and some white spirit to thin it out. To keep as much of the skin texture as I could, I had to keep the layers very thin, and just add washes one by one. It took me 10 hours to get to this stage.

Next up was hair punching. To embed the hair into the silicone, you have to stab small strands of hair in one by one, and dictate the direction of the hair. Sounds boring, but I found this part strangely therapeutic.

Eyebrow close-up.

Here’s a fellow student kindly glueing the appliance to my face. Yes, that’s me!

Full appliance with teeth and my hair covering the seams. Sadly we were pushed for time so we couldn’t affix the eye “flaps” to my eyelids so they look a bit rubbish.

Showing the flexibility of the appliance (despite being very thick in places)

My lovely crusty face after removal of my friend.

Despite being so tired I was basically dead on my feet at the end of the course, it was one of the most beneficial things I’ve done in regards to my career. I basically learned the fundamental practices for being a prosthetic make-up artist. Couldn’t have been happier with the outcome too.

More another time pals.

~ell


The Final Push

So tomorrow is our final deadline for Degree Show hand-in. Everybody’s in late and busy, it’s kind of exciting. I’m feeling decidedly calm, which I’m not sure is a good thing.

Today has been a productive one, I got into the studio early and got to work. I’ve managed to safely attach the top of the tree to the studio walls using fishing wire; it’s a shame I had to do it but it was a health and safety necessity. I also managed to get the soil laid down to cover the base, and attach my one solitary crow who’ll be hanging there for the next month or two! 

Because I’m fairly busy getting everything finished off, I won’t have time to upload pictures just now, but I’ll update this post later with photographs after the hand-in.

I’m ready for the last push, as it were, and I wish all the rest of my fellow art students the best of luck! I know everyone has been stressed out recently. Bring on the summer!

~ell

The month of May – and things are going slowly.

Hi again.

So things, as the title suggests, are going slowly. While the studios were (mostly) painted over easter, the space is still mostly in turmoil. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since, as I have learned, things need to be in turmoil for sculpture to happen.

This time I come bearing photos!

So this is the space where I’ll be installing the tree. It’s a beautiful studio at the very front of the college, so it has great south facing windows that get loads of sun. Great for branchy! As I said, the space is still full of crap as we continue to prepare for the show. The partitions at the end will also stretch to the wall on the left, we just have to leave it open now for access behind them.

I had to cut the uneven bottom off branchy, from where he fell from the tree. It’s a shame, because the bottom is all covered in this wonderful thick green moss, but I guess you wouldn’t have seen it anyway when it was installed in the stand.

Meanwhile, the crows wait patiently for me to attach and finish them.

I’m having a bit of trouble currently with stands for the branch, as being very top heavy, it’s very difficult to stabilise. Today, after a few unsuccessful attempts at cutting the bottom to be even, I’ve decided that I’ll fill the stand with jesmonite or cement, if I can get my hands on a small amount. That’ll mean I can hold the branch in the position I want it while the bottom of the branch settles into the material as it sets. Let’s just hope I can get my hands on something suitable for the job! It’s definitely not worth buying a whole bag of cement or similar.

Anyway that’s all for now, hopefully things will start moving more quickly and I can update more often. At the moment I’m mostly organising and choosing photographs to print, which doesn’t exactly give me any material to post on here with. Never mind! Soon!

~ell

Feathering

I have silicone all over me. In my hair, under my nails, I found some on my face this evening that I’d completely missed. How do I do this?

Anyway, today after fortuitously sleeping in and catching the postman with my delivery of crow feathers, I’ve added some to the gloopy entities that are my hanging birds. Behold!

Considering adding more further down the body of the crow as I quite like it. I’m using wing feathers though so I want to avoid completely feathering them. We’ll see.

Laters!

~ell

A tale of trees and black silicone

So the branch I’m going to use in my degree show is one I happened to spot out of my bedroom window a while ago.

It fell off a tree ages back when it was incredibly stormy. I’ve been looking at it for months and it only hit me a few weeks back that maybe I could actually take it. Anyway, it looked to be a reasonable size from my second floor window, but after a bit of scrutiny I realised that it was 4 metres long and impossible to put in a moving vehicle of any kind (that was accessible to me anyway). It’s been on the ground for a while, so it’s dried out a bit, meaning it isn’t so heavy.

So as it turned out, yesterday, my lovely boyfriend James and my lovely afore-mentioned flatmate Thomas helped me carry (well, they carried, I kind of… directed?) branchy to college. So now… well, see for yourself.

Now it’s here a feel a lot better. I’ve been pretty stressed lately. This is the very last week of studio time before we have to clear out to paint the studios!

Anyway so I’ve also been working on my hanging crows.

They are slowly beginning to look less simple and rubbish.

MEANWHILE! I ordered some bits of crows from ebay. I got some talons, and I just love them.

I’m planning on arranging the feet and some wings I also ordered on some cavases and displaying them alongside the crow tree.

I recieved some more crow wings in the post today and used them too.

So there we are. I’m sure I’ll be freaking out plenty before the end of the week so its nice to be feeling in control just now.

Bye for now.

~ell

Paws in the photography studio

Here’s a quick drawing I made a while ago:

It was an idea I’ve been wanting to try out for ages. And now, after a lot of failed prototypes, I’ve finally made the paw gloves (I settled with latex again, trying to sew them was a disaster. And aside from good ol’ latex no other material would stretch and keep its shape quite as well…). And thanks to my wonderful flatmate and photographer mister Thomas Morgan giving me access to the photography studio, being lighting and photography and basically everything man, the following images were able to come into being.

Of course, I must apologise for the quality and colour variances in some of the photos. I edited a couple of them very quickly and with about as much sensitivity as an angry rhinoceros, so I could print them out quickly to put in my development portfolio (the deadline was yesterday and I was a little bit stretched for time). What with all the degree show preparing going on right now I just can’t spend the time editing them nicely, though I should, and will. Ach, I also need to photoshop out some of the flaws in the glove/paws and that stain on the bottom of the dress. But whatever, you can pretend you didn’t notice, right?

Anyway, here’re some.

 

 

The paws burnt out in this one a little. I’m sorry Thomas.

 

So that was fun.

See you crazy kids next time.

~ell