I am headed back to the foundry. The Continuing Studies Lost Wax Bronze Casting class at MECA begins on the 26th and I have begun working on some waxes for casting. I am planning to continue my exploration of figures interacting with wooden screw clamps (see blog entries for 5/4/14 and 6/9/15) at some point, but have started my waxwork with another idea that came to me recently.
One day as I was driving into Portland I passed by a backpack sitting on the ground at the base of a street sign. No one was in the immediate vicinity of the bag, and it immediately brought to mind the constant stream of announcements at airports regarding unattended baggage. I imagined a cluster or groupings of a variety of containers that might be included under the broad term of baggage. My thoughts also led me to consider a number of unanswered questions... who did the baggage belong to, was the traveler (travelers?) departing or arriving, what was in the bags, why had they been abandoned? I also considered the alternative definition of baggage - "superfluous or intrusive things and circumstances". We all have some degree of "baggage" that we deal with at various times in our lives. Some of it demands constant attention and weighs heavily on our minds, other things are less imperative and can be put off to a more convenient time, and still other things are so inconsequential that they can be simply brushed aside. I appreciate the story that each bag might have to tell.
I have begun constructing baggage containers out of wax. I am not sure how many I will need or how I will group them. The containers are relatively small - the guitar case is 5 inches long and the larger suitcase is about 3 3/8" wide. The suitcase, rolling case and backpack are hollow with open bottoms. The guitar is solid. Once I get a few more constructed I will play around with potential configurations. I am not sure yet if I will a) attach the baggage to a wax base so that the sculpture will be cast in bronze as a total unit, or if I will b) construct a base out of some other material that the pieces can be attached to it after casting. In the meantime, I will continue with construction. As the cast of "characters" takes shape, I will be giving serious consideration to the stage upon which they will be set. Stay tuned!
Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.