As the entry deadline for the 10th Annual Yarmouth Art Festival approached, I headed back into the studio to create a plaster fish relief. I already had a 10"x10" framed relief ("Big Fish") ready for entry, but I wanted to vary my approach a bit on a second piece. The wooden fish that I use to make the fish impressions in the clay for the relief molds do not have tails. In the past I simply either had the fish impressions heading into the design from either side so their tails were never seen, or the end of a fish was hidden by the body of another fish. For this new relief I made a tail out of self hardening clay that I could use to add a tail where needed in the composition. I also decided to change the size and shape of the relief to allow for the addition of the tails. The new piece would measure 6" x 10" and would be put into a 9" x 13" frame.
I used the same techniques to create the new relief as I had in the past. I rolled out a 1/2" deep slab of clay that was slightly larger than 6" x 10". I then made the fish impressions into the clay with the wooden template, adding tails to the fish whose bodies would be fully visible. After impressing some streaming vegetation into the design with a piece of textured string and some wooden "leaves", I trimmed the clay slab to size and framed it in and poured the plaster. Once the plaster casting was removed from the mold I rinsed off the clay residue and dried it in the stove at a low temperature until it was bone dry. The final step was to paint the piece with graphite gray acrylic and then frame it. It was ready to photograph for entry.
I am happy to report that both "Big Fish" and the new piece, "Cruising the Shallows", were juried into the show. There will be an Artists' Reception on October 25th from 5:30-7:30 PM. Hope to see you there!
*See poster below for more show information.
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