With the recent ‘Wolf Moon’ on the night of the 17th of January, these two mockups mark Nick’s tribute to this new beginning: ‘Reach’ holding the Wolf Moon in its palms, and ‘Howl,’ well, doing exactly what it says on the tin…
The restoration of two mid 19th century Spelter figures: The Reaper (‘Left Handed Luke’) and The Sower (‘Nearly Headless Nick‘) is now complete, and the figures have been returned to their home in Kent, whole again.
The two figures are now fully restored, complete, and ready to return home!
The brilliant Sonia Goulding (of turningthestones.com, and recently featured in Acumen’s online guest poetry) has written this amazing article about Nick, his process, and the intentions behind his work, published in print with North Wales Magazine – they’ve done a beautiful job with the formatting and presentation of it, too!
The article can be found on page 11 of the August 2021 edition, so please support the magazine by picking up a copy. You can check out the pages here, but trust us, it’s even better in print (click on the images for a full preview).
Thank you, Sonia and North Wales Magazine! Photos are courtesy of David Allen, Nick Eames and Tim Johnson.
Nick is restoring two mid 19th century Spelter figures for his family, together with his Studio Assistant, Ewan Stell. Given the nature of the damage, we’ve named the two figures ‘Left Handed Luke’ and ‘Nearly Headless Nick.’
To restore these figures, Nick will carry out museum quality repairs, otherwise known as reversible repair. This involves the use of rust proof studding, epoxy resin, putty and adhesives. Not only is there no risk of destroying the original piece, but it is possible to differentiate between the restored sections and the original by X-ray. This method is preferable to welding – which risks destroying large areas of the original piece, and is irreversible (museums generally frown on welding as a method of restoration).
In these photographs, the two figures can be seen in Nick’s studio. Ewan is cleaning the figures before the restoration work begins.
Stay tuned to see the next stage of the restoration process…
The casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) is now complete, and the piece will soon be displayed within the Grosvenor Museum, Chester – as part of an exhibition drawing inspiration from Roman chariot racing.
Final stage: Once the sculpture has been stained, gold leaf is applied to the raised filligree.
The casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) continues, safely and with social distancing…
Part 1: The final caps of the piece mold for the skull are prepared for a vinamold pour – with the seams filled in with clay, vaseline & white spirit applied, joiner’s dogs fitted, and runners & risers added. The pour then takes place. Once the vinamold has set, de-molding begins.
Part 2: These photographs show how the piece mold has been constructed; in particular how the intricate shapes around the nose have been held in place (to create the needed grooves/hollows in negative). The vinamold caps are brushed down and cleaned, in preparation for test casts to be taken.
Part 3: While test casts are taken from the vinamold caps of the jaw, Florence creates a filligree of her own design, in clay, directly onto the face of the skull itself (which has previously been restored, repaired and reinforced). The filligree design is directly inspired by Roman chariots. Latex will later be used to take molds of the clay filligree.
Part 4: Test casts are taken from the jaw, to test the strength, thickness and finish – the plaster is combined with different types of fibres for each test cast. This process will inform the full cast of the skull. In these images, the test caps seen were cast with jute scrim.
Part 5: Another filligree, of Florence’s design, is created for the sides of the jaw – modelled directly in clay over the bone. Clay walls are then run around the areas on both the face of the skull and the jaw, for molds of the filligree to be taken in latex. After that, the latex is built up in several coats, and then reinforced with cotton scrim.
Stay tuned for the next part of the mold making process!