Tag Archives: sculpture

The base relief sculpture Creation of Life by Kirk Williams

A Base Relief Sculpture in the Modern Bronze Age

By Kirk Williams

In 2010, I was given a commission to do a base relief sculpture for the Pioneer Care Center, a new retirement home in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The sculpture, called “Creation of Life” was to be mounted on a wall about 14′ off the floor. I knew I had to make it strong and lightweight. The method I used was to sculpt the design in oil based-clay on a large wooden easel. Then I covered the finished clay sculpture with several layers of clear silicone, occasionally adding cheesecloth for build-up and strength. When the silicone was thick enough, I built a mold cradle, made of plaster and gauze reinforced with heavy metal wire over the silicone. When the mold cradle had dried, I removed it and the silicone mold and laid them flat.

1.) Williams first created the base relief sculpture in clay on a wooden easel.

1.) Williams first created the base relief sculpture in clay on a wooden easel.

2.) Epoxy/bronze mixture was buttered into the silicone/plaster mold.

2.) Epoxy/bronze mixture was buttered into the silicone/plaster mold.

3.) The silicone mold was peeled from the base relief sculpture.

3.) The silicone mold was peeled from the base relief sculpture.

4.) Buffing the sculpture with steel wool exposed the bronze powder.

4.) Buffing the scuplture with steel wool exposed the bronze powder.

I made a mixture of 105/205 epoxy and added bronze powder until it was the consistency of chocolate frosting. 105/205 gives me enough time to mix and spread it into the mold, but sets up within about an hour, making it possible to start another application. The epoxy/bronze mixture was buttered into the mold by using two fingers (gloved) to an eggshell thin layer, to avoid any possibility of air bubbles. When this cured I built up reinforcement layers using epoxy mixed with chopped fiberglass and Christmas tree flocking. For additional reinforcing, I embedded heavy wire and small iron rods.

After the final epoxy application had cured, I attached the base relief sculpture to a wooden frame with wires embedded in the back of the sculpture. With the frame standing vertically I gently pulled the silicone mold from the sculpture. I trimmed the rough edges with a Dremel® tool. Buffing the surface with steel wool brought out the metal, and gave me control over the amount of contrast. Olive oil rubbed over the surface gave the sculpture a smooth patina.

The 8′ long sculpture weighs less than 150 lb and was lifted using a scissor lift and hung 14′ above the floor level with ease.

5. The completed base relief sculpture weighed only 150 lb and hangs 14' above the Care Center floor.

5. The completed base relief sculpture weighed only 150 lb and hangs 14′ above the Care Center floor.

Outdoor Sculpture Sculptor

A Little Less Than Meets The Eye is a 9′ x 7′ x 6′, Fiberglass and polished aluminum sculpture installed at Raleigh, North Carolina, Art on City Plaza. 

by Mike Barker

Bill Wood has been making sculptures since high school. He has a degree in Art from Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas and attended the Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri. His work has been featured in shows from Connecticut to Key West and as far west as Topeka Kansas. Continue reading

The Artistador

Claudia Toutain-Dorbec is a multi-media artist living in northern New Mexico. The Downey Gallery in Santa Fe asked Claudia to create a life-size sculpture in preparation for the city’s 400th birthday celebration which began on Labor Day weekend in 2009 and runs for a year. She created the Artistador, a conquistador who is also an artist, seeking his treasure in art.

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Colorful kitty by artist Christopher Tully.

Artist Christopher Tully

by Mike Barker

Above: A colorful clay relief kitty by Christopher Tully.

Artist Christopher Tully does two unusual things with epoxy in his work. He creates large clay relief scenes with lots of detail made up of many tiles. After they are bisque fired he brushes on epoxy and heats them with a torch so the epoxy penetrates deeply into the porous clay. This creates an extremely strong surface that still has great detail. He then applies a primer and paints it with acrylics and a clear coat. Continue reading

lake erie lady

Lake Erie Lady

Lake Erie Lady is the title of this public art installation sculpture by Erie, Pennsylvania artist Mary Pat Lynch. Lynch used WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy to apply layers of designer fabrics to the fiberglass fish. The project was sealed with epoxy and then coated with an anti-graffiti lacquer. Continue reading

Johnathan Clowes’s Mobiles

Since 1983 the Walpole, New Hampshire sculptor Jonathan Clowes (Clowes Sculpture) has been creating mobiles that hang in institutions and residences across the country. He uses WEST SYSTEM® epoxy as an adhesive and a coating for the wood laminate that form these pieces. Clowes describes his technique:

“In general, the long sinuous parts are formed from stacks of veneers that are bent over a mold to make a rough blank from which the pieces are carved. The most consistently good method for making molds is to bend strap steel or aluminum to the desired shape and support it with sufficient wood scrap bracing to form a backbone. Usually the bracing is held with screws or fillets of epoxy paste. Continue reading

Foam Things in Disguise

By Captain James R. Watson

What has eyes yet cannot see? A potato. But not this one. This special spud is 15 feet long and hangs in an indoor/outdoor market. It also houses a security camera which peers out of smoked Lexan® eyes. So this potato does see, guarding the real potatoes and bananas from would-be vegetable larcenists.

Suppose you needed a 15 foot-long potato. Well, not a real potato, but a sculpture that looks just like a potato. Unlike your run-of-the-mill spud, this one would have to hang outside exposed to wind and weather. It would need to be sturdy and light weight. You’d also need it to last a long time — no rotting allowed. What would you make it out of? Continue reading