Sunday, May 6, 2012
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
At the moment, I have many works in progress... So I thought, in order to give a better judgement of who I am as an artist right now, I should discuss at least one of them.
One piece is a silver pendant of a man cast using the lost-wax casting technique. For this assignment, we had to create a series of three pieces about one or more rituals. The ritual that we chose could be something as simple as getting ready for school in the morning or more traditional like a quinceanera. The ritual that has inspired my series is significantly more obscure. On the Pentecost Island in Vanuatu, there is a village of people who practive the N'Gol ritual. Men build a 30 meter tall tower of branches, leaves, and vines. Then, they take vines that first must be approved by the elders and climb to the top of this crazy tower. As a right of passage and to promote a fruitful season, the men take turns plunging from the tower in an attempt to only scrape their shoulders on the ground. If they don't scrape the ground, 'it doesn't count', HOWEVERRR if the vine is too long or elastic, its very likely they will die or inflict severe injury upon themselves.
The process of creating this pendant is simple. First you carve and melt wax into the shape you want (a man with his arms crossed in my case). After doing this, you have to attach a stick of sprew strategically on the wax piece. This will serve as the funnel for the silver to pour in. After attaching the sprew, melt the end of it into the base of your flask and prepare investment to fill it. Finally, fill the flask and fire it so that the plaster hardens and the wax melts and evaporates, creating a shell. I had to pass this off to my teacher who filled it with silver and dumped it in water to make the investment dissolve and leave the silver piece. Of course it doesn't come out all shiny and perfect, so I had to cut off the excess silver. Now I am filing and polishing it and it should be finished really soon!