Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sketches for a Sculpture

I've been working on a concrete sculpture for a couple of weeks now. My ideas started with some very brief sketches with the idea of dependency and relationship. I like the idea of one object leaning on another one so that they are both in a sense holding each other up. I have also been thinking about the number of projects I had been working on all at the same time, and debating internally whether that was a bad thing ("to do anything well you have to do only one thing without distraction") or a good thing ("creativity comes out of chaos").

The first images in my sketchbook were simple line drawings, and then I tested some of those ideas by bending the forms in copper wire, to see how gravity and geometry would work with those ideas. Then I made two separate armatures out of steel rebar and expanded steel mesh (stucco lath), then made a mixture of cement, sand and polystyrene beads which I pushed into and through the lath. I used this lightweight mixture because the pieces are about six feet long, and I wanted to be able to lift them. Over a period of several days I applied thinner layers of white Portland cement mixed with white sand onto the surface of the growing shapes. That's about where I am now, applying thinner and smoother layers of alternating bands of white cement and black pigmented cement as final finishes.

This morning I found a scrap of paper on which I had written some notes and done a couple of little sketches. It was about half-way through the design process, so I thought I would scan it and share it. I also seem to have resolved the conflict about working on many things at once. I had written "creativity is something your brain does when you're working on something else", then edited it to "creativity is something your brain does when you're thinking of something else." This must have been influenced by the Zen directive in brush painting: "It is not I that am doing this." Under that I wrote: "That's my excuse for doing so many things at once."

I'll post some pictures soon of the sculpture as it develops. At the same time I am continuing to make and market jewellery, and I am also trying to tie up a project I started a few months ago which is neither concrete-related or jewellery-related.

1 comment:

Kesha Bruce said...

I love to see things from start to finish. I especially like the in-progress photos. Thanks!