When it comes to selecting materials, longevity is very important. For this reason, bronze is one of my favourite media because of its ‘almost' immortal longevity. I would like my work to last through the ages, like some of my favourite renaissance artists whose works are still around hundreds of years later.
Unlike stone, bronze’s composition offers more freedom to form and mould; to infuse textures. Once the bronze cast is in place, different materials can be incorporated to achieve different looks and feels. Practically anything can be added to show the desired texture or effect you’re after.
The easy sculpting processes have their pros and cons. On the one hand, bronze as a medium is very forgiving; there is room for refinement and reinvention. On the other hand, this flexibility could be a curse as it’s easy to become obsessed and make alterations. Often it’s not ideal to spend that much time on one sculpture. The reason: the ever-evolving artistic mind could cause the artist to stray from the initial ‘picture’ or concept.
I’ve always experimented and love the use of multiple materials for sculpting. In high school I was a metalwork student so metal was bound to become incorporated in my work, especially considering the freedom and texture opportunities it provides.
Compared to stone, which has its own amazing benefits, metal is a very stimulating material. Things such as delicate, hanging appendages or vibrant stretched sections are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to craft with stone.
Stone was the first medium I learnt to work with and in a sense my baptism into the world of sculpture.
Techniques used in the creation of metal sculptures can’t necessarily be transferred to stone due to its unforgiving nature and the extreme level of concentration required. When a piece of stone dislodges, that’s it; the sculpture could be ruined. Still, the exquisite natural colours you come across and the longevity certain stones promise are both reasons to persevere.
When working with stone, the thought process is very complex as mistakes are irreversible. Simply putting pieces back together is not an option. No epoxy can withstand extreme weather and the effect of temperature changes (contraction and expansion) which affect epoxy and stone differently. In time, separation is inevitable and therefore reconstruction is futile.
Yet, in the end, it is truly rewarding and inspiring when one succeeds and challenges are overcome.