Thursday, April 2, 2009
Academics need holidays to get down to serious work in their studios. That's exactly what I am doing - two weeks dedicated to remodeling and moulding rats for slip casting an installation of animated rats. The rats are designed to form a carpet - their tails reminiscent of tassels when they are placed in Escher type formation (opposite directions). The majority of rats will lie motionless, whilst their radical counterparts, will be roaming off in opposite directions creating havoc (reminiscent of the black plaque). Decals will be created (fired on the glazed bodies of the rats) to add meaning, based on either tattoos and or carpet designs depending on the theme. The rats represent a plague of intolerance spearheaded by extremists and fundamentalists.
The original prototype from which five plaster moulds were made. In the background are a few slip cast rats experimenting with surface development options.
The process begins - remodeling the prototype into various sections. The various body parts and feet (to be modeled) will be moulded separately to be in a position to animate the rat; assemble various options creating applied movement in the installation.
Coffee break; reflecting on the shapes and interface between body and head (variable options once slip cast and assembled).
Refining the integration of the body and head. The modeling clay is called Y2 - clay. I use a 100 watt spot on the prototype to keep the clay soft for modeling and another lamp close to a batch of clay from which I take pieces to add to the prototype. The clay goes very hard once the heat is removed (light switched off). For those who are not familiar with the clay - it is fantastic and makes the moulding process that much easier. You never have to keep the prototype wet.
Comparing the integration of modeling with the original slip cast, fired and decorated product.
Considering various animated options before refining the prototype and adding the front feet (to be modeled and cast separately)