Progress: Moldmaking Excitement

Okay, so I haven’t posted in a while, so I’m doing a few in quick succession here. I’ve made my first few molds in the past week, which has been messy and mildly successful with one decent failure. The first chapter in this project was the building of the prototypes. The finished versions here…

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So, here is the second chapter: The Making of the Molds
I’m starting out with a simple egg mold for making more podbabies.

So here we go . . .

Here is the first mold attempt. The green stuff is an oil-based clay that I pack in the bottom of the clamped “cottle board” assembly. Then I add the prototype, in this case, simply a wood egg and pack clay up to its midpoint. Pour the plaster, let it set, undo the assembly and this is the result.

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Here those two sections are separated.

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And here is the plaster section with the egg back in the cottles. The crucial step here is to spray a mold release, in this case Pam. Yes, I mean the Pam the use in your kitchen. I asked around about mold release and people kept telling me to use Pam. Okay. Anyways, this step is crucial and I need to keep reminding myself of that, because I’ve forgotten it once (okay, twice).

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Note the hunk of plaster in the upper right. Whenever I have a bit of extra plaster at the end of a pour, I use it to make a “hump mold.” I don’t make this stuff up. I’ve made a few in different sizes and I’ll end up using them for another stage of the installation.

Now to the semi-failed mold. I stopped taking pics once I realized this was a no-go. Now I wished I had kept taking them. The failures are interesting.

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I tried to mold this horizontally to avoid having a drain hole in the bottom. However, like I said, the spraying of The Pam is essential. I forgot here and once I poured the plaster, could not get the thing out.

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Sooooo…yeah. I went ahead and poured the second half since I thought I’d have to try again. Then I lovingly took a hammer and chisel to the big upper section so I could recover the prototype. The prototype had been rubbed down many times with oil soap so it created just enough of an oil layer that I could successful chip it out with minimal damage. I like the mold shape of the lower half and can think of a way to use it. So that’s why it’s a semi-failure. In any case, I’ve since figured out a better to mold it. I would be doing it right now, if it weren’t for the crazy weather keeping me home.

Whew. Congrats if you made it through all that.

Third Friday Open Studio, KC Star, Prototype Update

Well, this is kind of three posts in one. So, here we go:

#1: Don’t forget this is Third Friday, so Urban Culture Project sites are open 6-9. Of course, that includes the Bonfils Artist Studios, so I will be arting it up during that time. Stop by if you’re in the area!

Bonfils Artist Studios / 125 E. 12th St., KCMO
(corner of 12th & Grand, one bldg. west of the NAIA)

#2: I may have a small blurb and picture in this Sunday’s KC Star Arts section concerning an Inspiration Grant I was recently awarded from the KC Arts Fund. I haven’t really announced the grant yet, since there is an issue with the venue at the moment. It looks like the article is really going forward, but I’m counting it as certain until I see the thing. πŸ™‚ So look for me this Sunday in the The Star!

#3 Progress, progress, progress
Here are some images of the work I did last weekend down at the farm. Being the girly girl I am, I asked for a bed extension accessory for my lathe as an early birthday present. I wouldn’t have been able to turn the plaster without it. Anyways, I was definitely scared that it wasn’t going to work, and while, of course, there are issues, it went as well as I could have hoped.

I know I promised a painting update, but I had to spend last Friday dealing with a car and its misbehaving alternator. So hopefully I can make some headway this Friday. And maybe get a new little one started….??


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Sketches & Making Messes

Okay, here are some pics of two drawings I’m working on off & on. The berries are 9×12; the boat 16×12.

Also, I’ve begun the long, long process of creating a sculpture installation for the fall. So here are first pics of my first attempt at pouring plaster. Good lord, that was a mess. There were a few moments of chaos, but it worked out.

The picture below is of retaining walls of aluminum flashing I made to create long cylinders of plaster in various sizes. I’ll put these on my lathe down at the farm and turn them into specific shapes (I’m just praying that they’re not too heavy, which is a complete possibility). They will then be prototypes that I use to make plaster molds. I’ll then slip cast the ceramic pieces using the molds. So, yes, a long, long process and mind you, I haven’t done this before. And this is all for _one_ set of elements in the installation. So, very quickly, this is going to get confusing. So for clarification, I call the pieces I’m working on now “Corals.”

Anyways, I plan on painting all day Friday, so I should have an update on the painting I’m thinking of naming “Every Woman a Widow.” Be good, give all moms hugs this weekend and I’ll explain the meaning next week. πŸ™‚


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Studio Christening Pics

A little late, but here are some pics of the studio christening about two weeks ago, as well as reveling afterwards. As my family religiously believes in good food, my mom made a bunch of awesome, organic food fresh from the family farm. You gotta love moms. I, of course, supplied the Boulevard & Guiness. We hung out til about 11pm, then hit up JP’s Wine Bar (where we made some hi-larious and awesome friends and we even got a serenade) and later went out dancing. I think we can chalk it up to a success. To everyone who missed out, sorry, but you really did miss out. We rocked the night…

UCP Studio
getting ready
getting ready some more
all my peeps
familia
JP Wine Bar 1
JP Wine Bar 2
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Work in Progress Update

So I’m enjoying the new studio. It made for a nice walk Friday morning and getting to work in front of all the passerbys is pretty cool. Someone actually stopped, knocked on the window and we ended up talking for a bit.

So, anyways, on Friday I added the first layer to the vines, darkened the background, and added a second layer to some of the rocks. I’m going to try to get them to blend into the background a bit more.

I’ve been working on a few drawings as well, and I should have some pics up in the next few days.

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Ze Studio & Work in Progress

Well, I am moved into the new studio and happily working away. However, I’m going to have to get a schedule of when things are going on at the Sprint Center. Bon Jovi was in town again last night and I gave up looking for parking and went home. Anyways, here’ s a pic of the new place. I’m at the front of the building so I get lots of street traffic, which is cool.

Also, here’s a few pics of a new piece I’ve started. I haven’t finished the first layer yet, but hopefully I’ll get oily goodness over the whole thing in the next few days. πŸ™‚ Struggling with a name for this one still…

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Open Studio Party Tonight!

Reminder: Open Studio Tonight!!

Just wanted to remind everyone about the party tonight in celebration of my studio residency through the Urban Culture Project. As part of the UCP’s Third Friday Events, we are having open studios tonight,(and every third Friday thereafter). For a listing of all of the UCP’s events tonight, see here.

Bonfils Artist Studios
125 East 12th Street
(just west of 12th & Grand, on the south side of the street)
KCMO, 64106
Friday, April 18
6-9pm

Please join us!
Thanks to everyone!
Rachelle

The First of Many…

Welcome to what I hope will be an important part of this site. The point of this blog is to dispell the myth that I simply disappear into an arty abyss between exhibitions. Here, I will also be posting works in progress, which will provide greater insight into my processes and thinking. For those following my work, you will also be getting the first preview of pieces yet to see their first show. I will also be posting updates on new exhibits and projects as they happen, making this blog the best way to stay up-to-date with what I’m up to. Comments, questions, criticism, and advice are always welcome and I hope to make this blog an active place for discussion. So let’s begin, shall we? πŸ™‚

Oh, and there are several way to sign up for this feed. Click the orange RSS button, and you can choose be notified of updates on your google, yahoo, aol, etc. page.

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Well, apparently, I get to start this blog with great news. I’ve recently been accepted into the Urban Culture Project’s Studio Residency program. So I now have a free studio space for a year and I move in this weekend!

For those of you who don’t know, “the Urban Culture Project transforms empty spaces in the core of downtown Kansas City into dynamic arts venues. UCP pairs local artist with architects to transform vacant storefront spaces into vibrant sites with high-quality, challenging exhibitions of contemporary art, live performances, cross-disciplinary events, and studio residencies. UCP’s Third Friday monthly events feature exhibition openings and events at all the spaces, drawing significant crowds and vital activity to the downtown loop.”

So that means every Third Friday, I will be having an Open Studio from 6-9 at Bonfils, 125 East 12th Street, KCMO, 64106. Thus, I logically conclude that my first Open Studio in my studio should be a party/christening (though there will be no smashing of bottles; I think they look down on that). So write it down folks:

The Studio Christening
Friday, April 18th
6 – 9pm (though knowing my friends, ???) πŸ™‚
Bonfils Artist Studios
125 East 12th St., KCMO 64106
(just west of 12th & Grand)

For those who remember the Scott Fitness party, there will be similar libations, though maybe not in such quantity. So feel free to bring “refreshments,” but we have to keep it in the building. Let’s not get me kicked out on the first go. A good plan, I think.

So come help me celebrate the fact that I now have room to work!!