I have been working for 3 straight weeks now at the Foundry on casting in bronze.
It is a long process, never done before and never done any casting at all, I am a painter but I am finding it extraordinary!
The level of craftsmanship that you acquire throughout this procedure is tremendous, at each stage you get more and more aware of what you are up to by basically making pieces of art for every single part that put together will ultimately give you the final figure.
When I entered this workshop few weeks ago I had a sketch and an idea of what I wanted which was quite strong in my head but then you easily forget it, you start descending into these stages of casting, moulding, plastering, waxing and you feel or actually you don’t feel anymore that strong idea you had that first day when you walked into the Foundry.
The fact that your idea, your object is hidden most of the time in the cast, then in the armature of silicone rubber and then when you open it your clay sculpture is not needed anymore and you throw it in the bin you get used to work without your visible subject and you get more and more detached from it. It’s strange and at the same time a fascinating process. When I paint I see my idea building up on the canvas in front of me, I never lose the sight of it and I can grow with it every day loving it or hating it, these weeks I instead lost completely the connection with my idea.
Remember Dante’s line at the beginning of the Inferno? ‘Abandon all hope – You Who Enter Here.’
Well it was almost the same feeling: leave your original idea behind and get lost into this process to get to the bottom: the day when you finally pour the bronze at 1200 °C!