I have added four more wax bag "characters" to the cast of unattended baggage that I described in my last posting. One is a "medium" sized "soft" satchel with two handles and a "zippered" top. I made various gradual indentations and bulges in the sides so that the bag would appear to be made of a flexible material. The satchel's handles are slightly bent, suggesting that they are also made of a somewhat flexible material. I created the effect of a zipper on the top by heating a saw blade and lightly touching it to the top seam of the bag. The next three pieces that I made were smaller. The first was an business attache case. The second was a "paper" bag with a folded down top edge. I made variations in the sides of the bag similar to those of the soft satchel. The third was a "cardboard" box tied together with a string.
After completing these additional bags, I made some adjustments to the pieces that I had previously constructed. I created a slight bulge in the front pocket of the rolling suitcase and gave it a "zippered" top opening. I also added a side handle to it. I wanted something to give a sense of a human connection to the baggage, so I added a coat draped over the large suitcase. Finally I decided that it would make more sense to cast each bag individually rather than to cast them attached to a base, so I filled each of the hollow bags with wax (softened, not melted). This will help simplify the gating process as well as the de-molding and clean-up. It also will give me more flexibility in finalizing the arrangement of the pieces.
As I considered the styles and types of baggage I wanted to construct, I knew I wanted each piece to be different, in keeping with the idea of the various forms of "personal baggage" that most us carry around through life. Each bag would represent a different "journey" for its owner... temporary, permanent, casual, formal, serious, lighthearted, etc. In the end, I hope the viewer will ask: Who do the bags belong to? Why did they leave them? Are they coming back for them? Do the people know each other? What is in the bags? What's next?
Next - I need to begin the gating process so that my baggage will be ready for casting.
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.