July – September 2021: Learning new skills

Casting a satsuma using a silicone block mould and jesmonite

As part of my project ‘Multiple forms: New Skills’ supported by Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice fund, I have attended two short courses at London Sculpture Workshop, Casting in Jesmonite and Silicone Mould-making.

It has been the first time I have learned any new practical making skills for my own practice in a long time. I really enjoyed the experience but now I need to experiment with the processes and decide how to use them in my work.

I have some ideas for using Jesmonite that I wouldn’t have had without attending the the course. I will cast shapes that create mass and varied surface that can then become of some the elements constructed into sculpture with other materials. Using Jesmonite will be a way to bring colour into my work that is intrinsic to the material rather than painted on, something I hadn’t considered before. I can also cast several objects and start to explore repetition.

Two part mould-making using silicone in a plaster jacket seems long and involved to someone like me who is used to reducing process to its simplest form so I can focus on the sculpture rather than the attrition of making. I may make two part moulds in future but I think I will adjust the method to make it suit my style of working and to reduce the amount of clay I would have to waste. I don’t normally use clay and don’t want to have to keep it, and then reconstitute it when it has become dry as I don’t have the space.

I am excited to start work on the next phase, which has been delayed by the opening up of life after lockdown, meaning other work has been rescheduled to this Summer, making me very busy.