Friday, November 9, 2012
That said, this is pretty high stakes stuff. If the something goes wrong, you could easily be left with nothing, and you don't necessarily know if something goes has gone wrong until the very end. Pulling this cast means we're officially out of danger. Even if the next cast goes completely pear shaped, and bonds with the mold, or doesn't set, or whatver, we have a hard copy. If worst comes to worst, we can cast it again.
I wouldn't want to, but I feel a lot better knowing I could.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
What this video doesn't show is us laying up layer upon layer of burlap, and some wire sky hooks, but that's what we did. Look at how methodical Amy is compared to me.
We'll see how this one comes out this week, but laying it up definitely gave me a sense of how to go forward with a real casting. In the meantime, I'm going to need to do some experiments with 1512x and chopped strand glass. The stuff we did for a face coat was disappointingly brittle, but maybe with a little bit of a glass backbone...
A warm thank you to everyone at the DCCA who made my two, back-to-back speaking engagements such a pleasure. I'd never been there before, but I found it to be a great space, filled with a generous and knowledgable crowd. Can't ask for more than that.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Technical info: I used Polytek's Polygel 35 as a face coat. Worked well, although I don't know that I thought it was a lot easier to work with than the stuff I've worked with in the past. Set's up a little quickly for my taste, which means making A LOT of batches. In the first video you can also see us trying out Poly1512X (also from Polytek). This was a real disappointment. I had hoped for something light, strong, and with a quick set up time. This was much too slow, and surprisingly brittle. I elected to go with FGR and fiberglass instead, which works great, but which used up all of my FGR, so now I have to wait FOUR TO SIX WEEKS for my local supplier to get it in. There has got be an easier way.
Beyond that, everything went smoothly. In the end, all the pieces of the mother mold came off with no trouble, and went back together the same way. There's a little plasticine still sticking to the inside of the mold, but other than that, I really can't complain. Hoping to pull an initial Hydrostone cast this week.
The videos above are quite disjointed. I had high hopes, and a lovely tri-pod set-up, but the phone kept ringing, or the music wouldn't work. There's something to be said for having more than one gadget, I guess.
As I said to Amy at the time, there is nothing like sculpture for teaching patience. In the second video, if you watch close, you can see us stop pulling up the mother mold, which is coming up like a dream, and start thickening up a couple of the hydrostone and burlap pieces we had to use when we ran out of FGR and fiberglass. Inches from the big reveal, pulling up the rubber mold, and instead we have to spend an hour repair the piece in place. In the past I might have just pulled it and hoped for the best but, like I said, sculpture has taught me a few things about patience and delayed gratification.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Another Full Day from Jed Morfit on Vimeo.
The first day I was able to spend on the lady in quite some time. Too many other obligations. Very hot in the studio, very hot. Makes for a sweaty day, but it does mean that the plasticene stays nice and soft. I'll probably need to wait for some cool days work details into the surface, but it's good for roughing out forms, which, unfortunately, I am still doing.
At this point, I don't even pay much attention to how much progress I'm making, or how far I have left to go. I suppose that's good. It's not an experience I've ever had before. Mostly, I just move the bikes and the lawnmower out in the morning, and apply nose to grindstone.
At the very end of the day, I got tired of pushing plasticine around, and impulsively decided to take the body away, and see how the connections between the two pieces was going to work. If you look closely in the video, you can seem me cut the face off the mock up - it was jammed up against the rafters, preventing the two pieces from coming apart. In retrospect, I'm not sure this was a great idea, but I can't actually see the downside, either. It's not like I need her for reference at this point.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
This is the EZcast prototype for a cuff that will be cast in silver, hopefully some time this week. I'm really happy with the way this one came out, and really intrigued by this developing series of work that is driven by, and related to, the larger processes, but with their own identity and purpose.
At some point, when I've managed to bring all of these various projects to completion (end of summer?), I'm thinking I'll start an Etsy site, and see what happens.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
The Dexter Jones Award is an unrestricted prize of $5,000, which is presented annually to an emerging sculptor for an outstanding work of sculpture in bas-relief.
The award is given in memory of the late Dexter Jones (1926-1986), a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society. In addition to being an accomplished sculptor of portraits and works in the round, Jones created several outstanding bas-reliefs in his lifetime.
Also, I am pleased to note that "You Wish" was recently purchased by a private collector from the Beyond Rodin show at the Rye Art Center. I am grateful here for the hard work of both Bob Clyatt (for putting the show together) and Helen Gates (for negotiating the sale). It is unfortunate that emotional value has no corresponding purchasing power, because making money from your art feels like a million bucks.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Process from Jed Morfit on Vimeo.
Watch it on Vimeo to see it at a larger size.
The piece of wood they're sitting on is an off-cut from the maple tabletops we use in the sculpture studio at school. Upcycles nicely into modeling tools.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
All I know is that I spent A LOT of time working on the fisher cat today. I think it's better, but it's hard to be sure.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
If and when I do decide that this whole project is too inside baseball, too little mystery, I'll take the blog down. Until then I'm planning to commit to the process, and put it all online.
Speaking of putting it all online, the semester is over, so I should be getting back in the studio on a more consistent basis. Fingers crossed and stay tuned.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
In other news, we coined a really nice term in one of my classes the other day, referring to the enormous added expense and labor incurred by attempting to make work that is even slightly more dynamic, ambitious, and interesting. We call it The Sculptor's Reward.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Demolding Process from Jed Morfit on Vimeo.
Despite the rush, I managed to make this stop motion movie of the demolding process using an app called Frames. A great app, and highly recommended. I should have shot more frames per second, but it was super easy, and it's a great way to show process. I'll definitely be posting more of these.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
I think this is some of the hardest modeling I have ever done. It's not that the forms are particularly hard (although the grape leaves are no picnic), as much as the composition is so complex, and working with plasticine is so slow. Changes can't be made quickly, which means I need to visualize a lot of moving parts that I can't actually see, which always makes me nervous. I have come to be very suspicious of what I think will work vs. what I can see is working. The closest analogy I can draw in my own experience is my limited experience with choreography - trying to compose multiple movements on dancers in space as they overlap in time turned out to be one of the hardest creative exercises I have ever encountered. Particularly because, at the time I refused to use video recording. In those days, I was still more willing to trust what I thought than what I could see.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
It's hard not to panic in the face of so much detail, and such slow going, but so far so good. I keep reminding myself that there's no rush - nobody's waiting for me to finish this this, there's no deadline - so just relax and enjoy it.
Easier said than done.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Incredibly frustrating, but it turned out to be fine. Two things; first, the little propane heater I bought makes working in the studio in the winter a pleasure. It's like having a roaring fireplace at your backside. Second, working on the tangled vines of the skirt is hard on the eyes. I don't know how to describe it, except to say it's like staying in the batting cages too long, or driving in in a blizzard - it requires a particular kind of visual concentration that's hard to sustain. I don't know that I could have done it for any longer than the 4 hours I found myself left with. Slow going, and no pictures, but nice to be back at work just the same.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
They are all gone. Gone to Stockton. Gone to Philadelphia. Gone to New London. God, it feels great. I had hoped to have some kind of statement at this point, something that would tie all these pieces together. Particularly now that I have enough work to see the forest somewhat more clearly. The statement I'm working on now has, as usual, gotten too long and convoluted, and become a comment on art, and the art world, and on the viability of artist's statement's in general. Hopefully I'll straighten it out in the near future and get it out there. Finding a way (and finding the time) to be more articulate and honest about the content of this work is one of my goals for 2012. I'm also trying to drink less beer and be a better person. It's been a touch year for resolutions.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Saturday, January 7, 2012
You are comfortable with feeling like you have no deep understanding of the problem you are studying. Indeed, when you do have a deep understanding, you have solved the problem and it is time to do something else. This makes the total time you spend in life reveling in your mastery of something quite brief. One of the main skills of research scientists of any type is knowing how to work comfortably and productively in a state of confusion.
From the excellent kottke.org.
The exact same thing could be said about art.
Friday, January 6, 2012
I'm not a perfectionist, and these pieces really aren't meant to be perfect. The individual elements that make up the whole are not precious. They are plastic casts. Each one is one of many. They get cut and ground down, chopped, spliced and split. It is, in theory, fine with me if there is flashing visible along the edges, or air bubbles in the surface. To my mind, there's an element of theater to this work that I want to see reflected in the finish - luminous and awe-inspiring at distance, mundane material up close.
That said, as I get close to finishing these pieces, it's hard to know when I'm allowing for an appropriate degree of mundane materiality and when I'm just being lazy. The line between finishing a piece and overworking one is always clear. Particularly if you're not a perfectionist, or even particularly detail oriented. As readers of this blog will know, I find the last 10% HARD. And I am ready, ready, for these pieces to be done. But then I see some errant hole, or some thin shaving of plastic clinging to one of the elements, and I will wonder - should I leave it and let the physical reality of the thing speak for itself, or is that just me justifying my basic desire to get this done?
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I always tell my students that sculpture is the medium least able to be left to the last minute, and here I am gallantly proving the truth of it. There are just too many variables, and inevitably one of them is going to find a way to bite you in the ass.