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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sculpture and Duncan McRoberts.


Here's the finished ceiling panel, designed by Duncan McRoberts, ready for molding. 
 In the center there is an example of runwork, which is plaster that's been shaped into a specific profile. I don't have any pictures of it installed.

Finally, a use for those saved scraps of rosewood!
I made these wooden tools specifically for this project. One end of each stick is used to create a clean beveled channel, the other end is a very shallow curve used for modeling. I cut and filed a tongue depressor (at the far left) to be a comb tool.





The metal spheres are standard pattern maker tools, the wooden ones are used in ceramics. I made the largest one with a knob and a dowel.


Here's a cast from the mold to show you how each detail of this work is shaped by a specific tool.
If you want to make work this tight, you never touch it directly. By only using selected tools you can maintain both exact measurements and uniformity of form and surface texture.

3 comments:

Sherrie Y said...

THAT is a crazy-complex thing around which I can barely stretch my brain! (But it's fun to imagine the excesses of the rest of the structure based on this panel.) I confess that how one might use those bulb-ended pattern tools completely eludes me. Got pictures? ;-)

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I really appreciate seeing how you work. I find these last two posts particularly exciting. They remind me of a beautiful plaster ceiling in Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the home of George Washington's sister. I wish I could be more specific, but that home contains one of the finest ceilings in the United States.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Sherrie,
The houses, there were two, side by side, his and hers, were the talk of the entire town if you were involved in construction or faux finishes. The budget was legendary, as was the rampant excess.
I'll do a post specifically on those tools, they're invaluable when making a mold.

Mark, any pictures? would love to see some original work as they didn't use many molds, but worked directly in fresh plaster. Amazing technicians and artists.