Tag Archives: North Wales

Restoration of Spelter figures, with Ewan Stell: Part 1

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…

‘Roman Remains’ – Completed Piece

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.

‘Roman Remains’ – Stage 6

The casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) continues, safely and with social distancing…

Part 1: Using dremels, drills, knives and files, fine detailing is added. The surface of the plaster cast skull is worked, filed, and sanded to a fine finish.

Part 2: The filligree molds are prepared, for the filligree designs to be cast onto the plaster skull.

Part 3: Once cast and set, the filligree designs are then worked over, for a fine finish. Soon, the gold leaf will be added.

Stay tuned for the next part of the process, as ‘Maximus’ nears completion…

‘Roman Remains’ – Stage 5

The casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) continues, safely and with social distancing…

Part 1: Molds of Florence’s filligree designs are made in latex, and then reinforced with layers of plaster. Casting begins in plaster on the lower jaw mold.

Part 2: Test casts are taken of Florence’s filligree designs, with gold leaf added.

Part 3: Casting of the full skull continues, and the caps start to be joined together.

Part 4: Once the caps have been joined and cast, de-molding begins. Here, Florence can be seen chipping away the scrim that reinforces the joiner’s dogs.

Stay tuned for the next part of the mold making process!

‘Roman Remains’ – Stage 4, Major Update!

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!

‘The Gull’ – Development

Work is going apace on ‘The Gull,’ sculpted in wire mesh & rebar, to be installed at Plas Newydd Tea Garden upon completion.

Proposal: ‘The Dragon’

In light of the most recent proposal for a sculpture at Flint Castle, and the following response, I propose an alternative:

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Dragon Cropped

‘The Dragon’ is intended to be a monumental steel drawing in space; the symbol of Welsh pride, through which (though not obscured by) the Castle ruins can be seen. A lasting, imposing trace of the weight of history. My desire is that they balance, and acknowledge that this is a nation for all its citizens.

‘The Dragon’ would be constructed by Flintshire steel companies. The image below gives an idea of the possible scale:

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To show support for The Dragon, please contact Hannah Blythyn:

Hannah Blythyn, AM for Delyn:
@HannahBlythynAM
Office Address: 38 Church Street, Flint, Flintshire, CH6 5AE
Assembly Address: National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA
Phone: 0300 200 7132
Email: Hannah.Blythyn@assembly.wales
Website (non-Assembly): http://www.hannahblythyn.wales
Twitter: twitter.com/HannahBlythyn

#dragonforflint
@dragonforflint

‘Buddies’ – An update

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‘Buddies’ – the sculpture for Ysgol-Y-Foel, is ready and waiting in the sculptor’s yard. It will shortly go on display outside Capel Gad, pending the school being ready to move it to its permanent home. A better quality photo to follow shortly!

Work progresses on a commission…

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Studio sketch of the commissioned work as it could look when complete

Here is a sketch of a commissioned work. The initial maquettes have been shown previously. Click on the images below to view in full scale!

The casting process begins:

Raising ‘Teulu’

With the casting of the main body of ‘Teulu’ complete, it is lifted upright.
Spring  2015.