Bronze Sponge (making a mould)

Following on form the phone, I wanted to play with peoples predetermined perceptions of objects, this time changing a fundamental element of the object, something that meant that it could not do the very thing for which it was invented or most associated with;

Considering a teapot made of ice, a heavy sponge that can not be rung out and/ or sink.

It has become clear that I have an interest in making the mundane heroic. It was evident with my work with the paperclip last year but now instead of doing this through a renewed functionality, I am giving physical and metaphorical weight to an object. Both with the weight and value of the bronze. A Sponge is a quotation of a natural process, remade through handmade mechanical processes.

A problem arose when considering how to cast the sponge because it is so porous most materials like plaster will be absorbed, I tried coating soaking the sponge in plaster first to make it rigid but the plaster just pooled at the bottom of the sponge, I also tried soaking the sponge in gloss, but again this failed to make the sponge rigid enough to cast in plaster or rubber. Whilst chatting to the technicians about this dilemma, Mark came up with trying alginate. The downside; there would be a limit to the number of casts I could get from this but seeing as I only needed one (and a few spares) this was not a problem.

Before I made the mould though I really wanted to consider the type of sponge I cast. As I am looking at generic, mundane objects I wanted the sponge to be your stereotypical sponge, a car wash sponge was the right shape but the texture was not defined enough, cellulose sponge has a more textured surface so the task became finding a cellulose sponge with the shape of a car wash sponge, I difficult task as it usually come in a brick like form.

 

The process of casting, I had to get a very fine layer for the detail, the spurs had to be really strong so as not to snap off when dipping the mould.

 

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