LINCOLN OAK TREE PROJECT: Cement, Paper, & Copper

After somehow lifting an 80 lb. bag of cement into my car (with the help of getting a second bag from Dustin DeMilio, thank you for the help I don’t think I could have lifted another one alone) brought it into my studio and casted the form for the shrine portion of my piece.

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Then after careful preparation (wearing gloves & respirator), taping down the forms that would become the negative of the piece and spraying the inside of the mold with silicon, I began the mixing. Man does it take a lot of energy to mix cement, was not an easy task. After about an hour the piece was all poured into the mold that I left for a week to cure. Thankfully cement is caustic so the fact that my water to cement ratio may not have been 100% accurate did not ruin the mold.

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Returning after a week of letting the piece sit, at first the piece did not budge but after a bit of nudging with a mallet the piece separated from the mold. The glass forms were not easy to remove and had to be smashed with a hammer. All and all casting cement was not as impossible or difficult as I thought it may be and love how the piece came out.

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The head pieces for the dancers was tricky to conceptualize. I wanted the pieces to be light visually and physically and have a unit like multiplicity, the triangle form worked perfectly. At first I wanted to use copper, but the metal was to hard and I was worried it might hurt the dancers when then were wearing and performing with it. I decided to use vellum paper because it had a nice translucent quality but was durable when put together in units. This is one week in.

Last week I added the copper leaf to the inside of the cement bowls.

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Lincoln Oak Tree Project: Collecting Wood

Today I meet up with project director Jason Bischoff-Wurstle and Zeb Esselstyn with East Rock Park. I was also able to briefly meet some of the other artist participating in the project; there will be another meeting to introduce all of us to one anther and discuss who will work best in which space at the New Haven Museum.

The next part of the project will incorporates finding dance artists to work with and creating the sculptural forms that will be used in the piece. Now that I have the wood I have a better sense of how the forms will be created and have begun thinking of how the video element will fit into the overall installation. I have already been able to get connected with a couple of dancers and hope to communicate and possibly collaborate with the Elm City Dance Collective and the Broken Umbrella Theater. Depending on how many dancers participate the clothing aspect could possibly become a immensely large part of the project.

Once materials are in hand a project wheels always begin with good consistent momentum forward. I am very excited to see these pieces of wood take form and cannot wait to know who is going to commit to being involved in the dance/video portion of the piece.