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.
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 casting of the ‘Maximus’ horse skull with Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) continues, safely and with social distancing): The most fragile areas of the skull are reinforced with clay and vinymold, to allow for clean de-molding of the caps without damage to the skull itself. The caps are then prepared in plaster.
The casting of the horse skull with fine artist Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) continues: Following some subtle reinforcing and restoration, the skull (which has been named ‘Maximus’ – “Are you not entertained?”) has been clayed up, and the first caps of the piece mold are underway, in plaster.
We’ve been joined by Nick’s colleague, Tim Johnson, who has been assisting in documenting the process and working with Florence.
Nick is working with fine artist Florence Bigglestone (@floss_art) this month – safely and with social distancing – to restore and cast a horse’s skull. The cast skull, in plaster, will then be painted and embroidered by Florence to represent the history of chariot racing in Roman Chester. It will be exhibited in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester as part of an exhibition.
These photos show the beginning of the restoration and casting process.
You can check out more of Florence’s work on her Instagram.