Ashwinstudio art blog

Isolation Sculpture – Sculpting with Cement

4th November, 2020

As I posted earlier, I chose to experiment with using a form of cement clay to model the sculpture. For the base mix, a courser mix, I used leftover builders sand and PVA glue mixed with water lime. To this I added earth red powder pigment. My intention was to experiment with other pigment colours as the sculpture progressed. The progress was a bit stop start, partly because I was working on other artworks and because the June heatwave resulted in the cement going off far too quickly.

This form of practice based research is tricky yet rewarding, I have had to adapt as the work progresses but I will know better next time around. For example, it is important to create a ‘slurry mix’ between layers — this what builders use to aid bonding between layers. It is simply a wet mix that I brush on before continuing to model with the ‘clay’ mix. I have also discovered that I need to limit the layers, allowing time to dry, otherwise the ‘clay’ can slump.

Detail of cement clay texture

My intention was to excavate and reveal some of the objects at a later stage. In addition, I planned to use tools to carve back and redefine form and smooth some areas to contrast the rough textures.

Detail of back
I decided to cast a plinth

© 2021 Ashley Baldwin-Smith

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