Creative Process: Mould-making, casting and a melt-down.

Filed under Art, Creative Process

My up-coming exhibition deals with addiction and its effects on the addict and their close friends and family.

It is a tough subject and pretty painful. This artwork is proceeding slowly, but surely.

I won’t say too much but just let you have a look behind the studio doors.



Making the mould. I like to leave the mouth and eyes till last so the model doesn’t feel too claustrophobic too soon.



First time to make the plaster cast of the head. There is a split in the back of the head so that it will be possible to pull the cast off.



Apparently the caption should be, “I think, therefore I am”. The plaster head once finished.


20180803_101158 m kuppel

This is kind of what I’m aiming at. I am just struggling to find these plastic spheres, so this is a photoshopped one. I found a supplier in the States, where I could get 4 spheres for $70. But to have them shipped by UPS would have cost $218! What??? So, that was cancelled!



OK. How do I get this out again? I had to make some experiments as to what barrier substance could cope with going in the oven. Vaseline could, but there were places where I hadn’t made enough of a barrier and I was about to get into a panic. But sawing open the mould helped 🙂



The moment when the luminous, translucent head had hatched! I had to form the ears by hand afterwards.



Hard to believe that cast could fit into that mould! The idea with the translucent head is that I want to put light inside to give the impression that there is internal activity that the outside world is not able to participate in. That is what drugs create – an affair with another reality.



Here is the translucent cast from the plaster mould. The ear has now been formed.



I had a meltdown – literally. Once I’d modelled the ears I put the head back in the oven on its side. But I hadn’t accounted for that Cerenit softens when hot and the head couldn’t keep its form, and broke into about 6 pieces! I tried to keep my composure, and with a bit of super glue, pieced it together bit by bit. A friend suggested a hair-dryer. But I realised the same thing could happen here, so I stuffed a blanket inside the head to keep its form. The ears are now sufficiently hardened and the head is whole again.


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Leah Robb