Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stages of a Station, the Art of Art part 1b

I started sharing the process of creating the piece I was asked to contribute to Xnihillo Gallery's Station of the Cross exhibit here. My brilliant and talented friend, Jack took some photos of my belly cast for me. I'm not sure what I'm doing with the cast when the show is done but I'm thinking one of these images will be framed and hanging on my wall for "cool" factor alone.

When the cast had hardened enough to remove it from the frame (my body) we placed it belly side down to finish curing. Now, if you decide to make a plaster cast of your shape I have a bit of advice to give you: load on the petroleum jelly. When you think you have enough, add more. If you think you've covered enough of the area, add another inch. I think I did pretty well, actually but there were a few spots where I could have used more Vaseline and OH. MY. FREAKIN. CRAP. My eyes sting just thinking about it and so do other parts of my body. Trust me. Lots and lots and lots of petroleum jelly, you won't regret using too much, you will regret not using enough.

The plan was for it to rest for 3 days and then I'd start working on preparing it for what was to come. But then I had a baby in three days and, well, it sat for 3 weeks before I did anything with it. Another talented and brilliant friend, Linda, came and did our labor and birth photography.

(Those are my hands. Sweet, right?!)

Before the cast could be really used for the piece, I had to reinforce it with a few more layers of the plaster cloth so the girls and I pulled out the supplies and set to work. Everyone got in on the action. You can't tell from these phone pics (Thanks O and L for taking them for me!) but tiny, newborn C is off to the side in her bouncy seat being bounced with my foot when these shots were taken.

We did the additional layers in three stages. The next part of the plan was to sand the cast smooth, get the photo images we needed, have them printed on canvas and then wrap the form in strips of cloth and the photos. It completely changed though and the cast remains pretty much the same in the finished piece thanks to my friend Jack convincing me that the cast was beautiful without doing anything to it. I cleaned up a few spots with sandpaper but left it as is.

More on the process later.

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