After delivering the 2 pieces I wrote about in my last blog entry, I stayed in plaster relief mode and began work on some additional fish reliefs for the upcoming Yarmouth Art Festival. This annual event is a juried show organized by the members of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church and it benefits a variety of local community services. Last year's show featured 165 pieces by 80 different artists.
Using the same materials that I utilized for the previous reliefs, I rolled out a 1/2" thick clay slab and used one of the wooden fish relief templates to impress an arrangement of fish into the clay and then added underwater "vegetation" using the textured cord and my wooden leaf templates. I made a second clay slab and impressed a different arrangement with the two different fish templates and vegetation. The clay slabs were trimmed into squares, put into mold frames and covered with about 1/2" of casting plaster. Once the plaster hardened, I removed the frames, peeled off the clay and rinsed the remaining clay residue off of each of the castings.
After correcting any casting flaws and smoothing the edges, I dried the 2 casts in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour (no, I didn't "fry" them as per the title of the blog...I just wanted to use the phrase "fish to fry"). Next I painted each of the reliefs with Golden's Graphite Gray acrylic paint, and when they were dry I lightly burnished the surface with a soft paper towel to bring out the metallic quality of the paint. The final step will be to mat and frame them and photograph them for the entry process. The accepted works will be posted online on October 3rd and the work will be shown at St. Bartholomew's October 19th through October 22nd, with an artists' reception on Thursday, October 20th (5:30-8). On to the next!
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.