Part 5 – Pollen grid

This sculpture would be wall hanging and consist of two parts, the grid and the pollen spheres.

Grid

My initial idea with this was to create a ceramic grid with an organic feel about it.

My first attempt used wooden dowels glues together and then coated in paper clay slip, sanded at the edges and then fired. This worked to a point, but suffered from cracking and, more importantly, didn’t create as organic a form as I had envisaged.

Wooden gridCeramic grid 1

I then tried a second one using dead plant stems covered in paper mache and then covered in ceramic slip. The form of this was much more successful.

Cermic grid 2

As I was experiencing problems with the ceramic grids, I decided that I would produce a bronze version in case they didn’t work. It would also be much more durable, but it wouldn’t fulfil my brief of using mixed media more.

I made this in wax, textured the surface and sprued it up to cast (in two halves):

Wax gridGrid coated

Once cast it was tidied up, welded back together and patinated a white colour.

Pollen

The pollen spheres were always going to be made out of bronze. To do this, I formed a thick wax sphere using a mould I had created previously and then carved it to represent a Passiflora caerulea (passion flower) pollen.

To make sure I could get multiple version (and in case the cast failed), I created a silicon mould of this.

P1050615

Waxes were created and, due to recent casting failures, cores were used in these to hopefully give a successful cast.

Pollen wax

Fortunately the cores worked well and the casts were successful:

Pollen cast

Rods were drilled and tapped to be able to accept a bolt and then welded to the back of the pollen spheres, these were then patinated and finished. Only one pollen sphere was used in the end.

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