Play Set Action Figures and Making a Two Part Mold

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The three small objects above are the first attempt at action figures for the play set.  Obviously based on Fisher Price toys from the seventies, I wanted the objects simple and direct and to work with the mold making technique that I am focusing on this semester.  I began with three small pieces of clay that I allowed to dry to leather hard.  Using sketches, I carved the solid figures so that they would have no undercuts so that they could be easily cast and reproduced.  For the video I am wanting to produce several identical objects that can be broken and replaced through the course of the filming.

When the figures were complete I then made forms for the molds using foam core and duct tape. I made the forms in two pieces because the openings are small and I wanted simple access for notching the bottom piece.  The top of the form was attached with more duct tape after the bottom half of the mold was cast.  Rather than setting the object into clay to cast the first half, I placed the figures directly into the wet plaster after it had a moment to slightly set.  This was a great innovation in several ways, however the figures did slip and move making the molds possibly unusable, especially in the case of the male office worker.

After the molds came out of the forms I separated them using hot water and cleaned them up with a metal loop tool.  While I love the little molds I made, there is no doubt there is much improvement that can be made on them.  I’m looking forward to another try.

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first piece of the semester

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While the play set progresses I have been working on a piece that focus’ on a ceramic work within a larger piece.  The larger object was influenced by a surrealist painting by Rene Magritte titled The Rape, but of course I added a nice hundred pounds to the concept and took rape out of the intention for the piece.  It is undoubtably another monster, but one that is not threatened from without or within.  In fact within is the little fat angel, a sort of child possibly or some inner protective force.

The little piece was crafted specifically to fit within the cavity and rest safely on the terrain of the interior of the monster.  My priorities were to have the object fit the space and to relate to the larger object both in composition and content.  The larger goal for the work was of course to continue to explore challenges the play set gives rise to.  Beyond the mechanics of getting the pieces to work together, I want to push the play set into some of the territory explored in earlier work.  The first play set is a rather external piece.  I would like to eventually bring the concept within as well an explore some of the issues that self portrait demands.  All of the play set work will rely heavily on video to complete the piece, this object is complete without that layer, though I may still produce a video for it.

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