Pod birds continued.... I used my trusty Dremel to clean up where gating had been removed from the bronze castings and any surface irregularities. This was particularly tricky to do on the textured surface of the nest, and even more tricky on the pointy ends of the poppy pods. Each cast poppy pod had a ring of gating around it to insure that all of the little pointy ends were cast (if you look carefully at the photo at right, you will see that one of the poppies still has that ring attached). I ended up using my belt sander to remove the rings of bronze gating. I secured my sander, belt side up, in my bench vise, ground the rings down close to the points, and then completed the removal with the Dremel. The final step on the pod points was to dull the edges that had been sharpened to a "lethal edge" during the ring removal process!
Before applying a patina to the castings, I glued together two 3"
wide Padauk boards that I had chosen to use for the base of the sculpture. I thought the deep red-orange color of the wood would contrast well with the blue-green patina that I was going to be using. While the glue hardened, I applied the cold "Tiffany" patina to the castings. I decided to leave the egg in the nest a natural bronze color to make it a focal point in the sculptural composition. I also removed some of the patina color on the nest to enhance the surface textures. I finished the castings by sealing them with satin polyurethane.
The next step was to prepare the wooden base. I sanded it, and then rounded the corners and drilled the holes where the various castings would be inserted and attached. I also added a smaller 1/2" thick walnut board to the bottom side of the base to add a little elevation to the piece. The base was then sealed with satin poly. The final step, after the base dried, was to attach the castings. I glued each casting into its designated pre-drilled hole using 5 minute epoxy. And - lo and behold ....Spring had sprung! The piece was ready to deliver to the Spring Greens show at River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta.
3 views of "Spring Arrival"
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.