Friday, January 28, 2011

lasting art sculptures in the modern era, art that lasts

The web as you know has a wealth if information on virtually any topic. While researching out a new technique that I wish I new more about, I read an article on the topic of "what is considered the longevity needs of modern art/art produced today", well not exactly but .....

   So here I am looking for a medium to cast my sculptures in that will last at least my lifetime and hopefully longer and I come across this thread in an unmentioned forum regarding casting in hydro- cal and how to make it last longer than just a few years. One of the respondents referred a study or a product that said in its description that society generally looses interest in something within 5yrs and that auto manufacturers produce vehicles that are only designed to last 3yrs. By at which point most things will have been broken and thrown away or the owner will have tyred of what ever it was and just pitched it out.

   Now I don't know about you, but when I buy something, it better last and I expect to have to pay for it. It just stumps me though that when I want to create a new work of art. I want to use the best quality materials to produce my finished piece. In this case its sculpture cast in,.... cast in,....... well I don't know yet. That's the problem. I cast in allot of different mediums hot and cold! But due to the wants of me needing a new material that can be finished anyway I like and can be indoor outdoor safe per say. Cement is to heavy and hydro cal is lighter but not strong enough to handle the weather. Now I could cast in metal but most people can't afford that sort of thing. So back to the cold cast materials.

   I have had some pretty good luck casting cement and hydro-cal materials alone and with additives (my own mixes, he he he) that include but are not limited to Carpenters glue, weld-bond, pearlite, vermiculite, fiberglass, latex, acrylic, enamel, as well as others. with varying degrees of success.

   As this seems to be a toss away part of our history I'm taking a stand. I want quality in what I buy and I'm going to create art of the highest quality. My advice to you is to do the same. So with that in mind I can tell you for sure, if your casting with hydro cal throw at least 1/2cup of carpenters glue into every 1/2 bag. Don't use pear lite or vermiculite they both float to much. I have yet to find a suitable sealer or clear to make it weather proof. So if its meant for out doors, cast with cement same mix as for hydro-cal. Don't use pre- mixed cement. Its usually too course for my liking. I like a 50/50 cement sand ratio. Be sure to seal it. but not before it has cured for at last 48hrs after demolding (including next day sealant). The mediums need time to De-gas/dry before you add the new material (clear or sealant) as the cast needs to be able to readily absorb it.

 Remember if you spend the time to make it, take the time reproduce a quality piece. Not everything has to have a "Bic lighter" life span  

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