This week (and the end of last) has been really exciting. I have been in the studio for a few hours here and there and managed to remember how I make things which has been nice.
I wanted to begin creating the mould for the camera as having correspondence with the ‘story owner’ found out they hadn’t been well and as they are one of my older participants I wanted to get this created so I can show them the progress. I have also set a date to see them so this has spurred me on.
It has reminded me of all the different skills that I needed for casting and being a familiar technique, the smells and feeling of producing the work have all come flooding back to me. I really really enjoy the process as once the object is in situ, pouring the silicone in is quite a timely process, methodical and calming. It allows (as do a lot of the techniques i’ve used) to think about the making process but also the purpose for doing it. It also allows contemplation time for the next stages etc. This camera, being quite a square piece required methodical measuring to create the right size mould. It also couldn’t be too thick on the sides so it wouldn’t come out, or too thin that left the object too floppy. I left about 1.5cm all the way around.
It is the first really ‘square’ object I have cast too so this proved assorts of challenges such as getting bubbles out from the underside, how I was going to get it out after it had been moulded and where would the silicone go inside the camera if it got in!?
I poured the silicone in two ‘goes’ one the day before each other, the join cannot be seen and it allowed the camera (that started floating) to be anchored in for the second pour. Having left it overnight I came back to retrieve the next day to ‘de-mould’.
The process of de-moulding proved hard due to the 90 degree angles and the sticky out bits such as the knobs and lenses. After a while of just pulling and de sticking from the object it was decided that the camera would have to be destroyed to extract it.
It took a few hours to carefully cut and bend the metal to come out without destroying the silicone. Like a lot of my work an element did not want to budge and so it stayed in there. Quite significantly, this ended up being the winding knob which would have allowed the camera to wind on. I have decided to leave it in the piece for now.
I went to see the participant and she was thrilled at the design and the idea. We discussed her story in parts again, but also talked about lots of other things. I feel I have truly made a friend as well as working with someone as part of a project.