Plaster Work

Studio work- the new stage

From this stage on I will be creating work based around a new idea for the rest of the semester. My idea; I am interested in the human psyche; the specific elements which bring us back to our primal instincts and also the associations that those primal instincts give us in relation to imagery. I am interested in making art that is ‘creepy’, which provides the viewer with a physical response to the work.

I decided to focus on the idea of maternal and paternal instincts and imagery along that line; ergo I am using baby dolls in my work.

I have started working with dolls by experimenting with different forms, as shown:

The process shown above shows me trying to produce a full body cast of a baby by Mod Rocking the entire exterior till it has enough layers to support itself, waiting for it to fully dry and then cutting the Mod Rock shell into two halves to remove the baby doll from the inside. However when doing this process I realised that the layers of Mod Rock on the main body hadn’t bonded together properly. Further inspection lead me to believe that it was because the main body of the baby is squashy (full of stuffing) so when I pushed down on the baby to allow the layers of Mod Rock to bond together I was simply rearranging the stuffing rather than forcing the layers tog I realised it would have to be on an entirely solid baby, I also realised that I would have to make a two part mould of the baby as it was very difficult to remove from a full body mould.

From there I decided to mod rock round a solid baby using a two part mod rock, I did this by drawing a line along the baby indicating where I wanted one set of mod rock to reach, then covering it in layers. This is shown below:

When I tried to remove the mod rock layers of each half I realised that certain areas of the cast were very delicate, namely the arms and the neck, the mod rock broke in these areas. However the faces came out in quite a lot of detail which was important. Here are the resulting casts:

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As you can see, although its not a complete cast it came out in quite a lot of detail considering Mod Rock isn’t too forgiving. I was also interested in how the face came out so I decided to Mod Rock over the faces of some dolls, as shown:

As you can see, this time around the faces didn’t turn out to be as perfectly detailed, one of them in particular almost looked diseased. I think the reason that they didn’t turn out as I had hoped is because I didn’t line the Mod Rock with Vaseline or any other lubricant as I am relatively new to working in this material. However I did like how these faces turned out, their imperfections add to them I feel.

When talking about my work to others I later realised that my work is very fragmented and seems to have this theme running through all of it, I realised that perhaps I didn’t need a full and complete body cast, perhaps just certain bodily elements instead so I thought I would try and make an arm and a leg cast. This is shown:

I found that making these particular moulds was very fiddly and delicate. Removing them was difficult and also re-aligning them to join both halves together. I then filled the leg and arm cast with Plaster….

Again these didn’t come out very well as the Mod Rock stuck to the Plaster, as shown:

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