by: Alanna Baird
The oceans are the depths from which my work has emerged. This work exploring pentaradial symmetry speaks to my mathematical and science background as well as my creative roots as a potter. An exploration of surface decoration on bronze led to a gradual removal of surface areas, exposing the negative space as a presence in itself. Leaving just enough of the surface, a partial shell, to maintain structural integrity. Through this work, I share the beauty and the fragility of our sea while giving visual voice to global concerns.
This is made from bronze, in a process called lost wax casting. It is one of a series of works in bronze that was made possible by an ArtsNB Creation Grant.
I began by making a silicone mold of a thrown ceramic pot that I had made in 1991. This mold was then used to cast copies in sculptural wax. Each wax pot was then pierced using drills and hole saws to create unique radial 5 sided symmetries (based upon the pentaradial symmetry of a sea urchin shell). I explored the patterning while discovering the strength of this new (to me) material. The completed wax was cast into bronze by a foundry in Inverness, Quebec, then returned to me for chasing (grinding of sprues and vents, cleaning of surface imperfections). Final treatment with liver of sulphur (cold) and cupric nitrate (hot) to give the copper blue surface patina and a final layer of conservators wax.