Thursday, 31 March 2016

Ceramic shell

Last week I was able to send several sculptures off for their tour of the foundry.  After Simone did his magic on them, they are now with Ivano to be dipped to make the ceramic shell. Ivano carefully brushes on the ceramic mix to make sure there are no air bubbles

swishes them in the tank to give a thorough coating

before they are hung out to drip

and then bathed in the sandbox which blows sand every which way into all the nooks and crannies

several coats later and some reinforcing wire

 they are lined up to go to the kiln to burn out the wax. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Pottering in Pisa

 looking up river

 a fine pathway across the top of the wall in the Scotto Basilica

 I wandered round the back streets rather than stay with the throng on the main Via Roma where it was too crowded to see anything. Hence why I came across a Vespa convention in the Piazza Santa Catherina. I finally ended up close to the Leaning Tower

On the way back to the station I found the Vespa's were multiplying. sadly no acrobatics were planned

Sunday, 27 March 2016

scree and no snow

I took a day to go to Carara just a few miles from where I am staying and the home of the most amazing marble. We went right up into the clouds, no bird song and cold, the stillness and the white marble scree making it feel colder. That high, the views are superb, looking down on the road that the James Bond "Quantum of Solace" car chase took place and with the Mediterranean in the distance about 5 miles away. En route, the road felt at 45 deg and usually had a sheer drop. Not many fallen vehicles were sighted 

 The skyline is now, thankfully protected. Where before some mountains were lowered and there is a completely unnatural horizontal skyline in some places, now they have to maintain the current profile and the mountains are being cut away in tiers

lumps of marble as big as a room

Sunday, 20 March 2016


I handed over a wax to Simone to prepare for casting. He is an amazing worker, so careful and considered as he works. He explained - in Italian so I don't think I got everything- why the sprues were put in particular places to allow the molten bronze to travel throughout the whole sculpture. 

Paring down so that there is not too much contact of sprue with sculpture, just enough to get the bronze through but not so much that there is loads to clean off later after the pour.
By now, there is more wax as sprues than there is wax as sculpture

 Finally showing the casting tracking number.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Bee Gee's anyone?

I am currently spending my days in the wax room at the foundry. The radio is on and I have no idea what station it is tuned to. The daily playlist comprises:- the Bee Gees, T Rex, Abba, Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', other Stevie Wonder in Italian, the Bee Gees, Kung Foo Fighters sung in Italian, Dire Straits, the Frog Song, Mundo Jerry, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and YMCA ....and the Bee Gee's. The jingles sound like something from Radio 2 in 1971.
Meanwhile, the work is coming along and here is a pic of work in progress

Thursday, 3 March 2016

animal kitchen

While out walking, I found that a kind person/s had created a small food kitchen and shelter just outside the town.