I know you work with sustainable cement and you do castings, but can you explain a bit more about how you work. Is there a set process that you work through?
Yes and no. The basis of all the pieces is a white casting cement. It’s really fine, like a sculptors material. I get the different colours and textures by adding materials to it. That could be metal fillers that rust, pigments, or surface inks that are applied afterwards. Some are done during the casting process, so I don’t know the outcome until it’s fully dried. With the cast itself, some are repeat casts, but most of the bigger pieces are individually cast, like bespoke pieces. I am just learning the skills of silicon casting and mould making. So it’s a mixture of both really.
Often your pieces seem to be compositions of different elements. How do you go about creating them, do you have a picture of what you want to do beforehand?
The studio is full of castings. I have shelves and shelves of different bits, things I have casted where I have joined materials to see what happens, experiments to see how it works over time. Do they rust more? Do they change at all? Mostly in the bigger pieces, I find the compositions in this way, how they stick together, how the shapes work, how they stand together. Do they balance? That kind of thing. Sometimes I do have an idea where I might want to incorporate say more minerals, or more crystals. Can I get that to lean, or to balance, and what would that look like? I think about that in the castings sometimes. But I would say that it is trying to tame the material in some way.
I want to get a sense of how you work in terms of time and process. Do you prepare work for specific shows? Do you work on pieces in a group, or individually?
I would say it is a mixture of both. You can be working on something and say, okay this might sit well with this, or this colour-way with this, or maybe I will try and make a certain shape, and then it will be a continuation. Saying okay, this is working, and this is sparking this idea and so on. Although you know you have a show coming up, and you will work towards that. It tends to be that I work in batches. As I have lot of things already made up, with pieces already cast, I might have a play about with that. I might have a group of things sitting together on the bench, and I will go back to it. So sometimes it can be really productive and I will make a few pieces in a month, sometimes it will be eight pieces or so. Then sometimes it will be two a month, and I will be casting for a couple of months and seeing what is working. It really depends.