Today a second stone cutting assistant came along to work on the pyramidal granite piece. After checking with the two stone assistants I signed “Visionary” just behind the left ear canal with my initials, the copyright symbol and 2008. Angela signed my name in Chinese above that. After that Angela and I went shopping for plastic mixing bowls and rubber gloves plus a heavy canvas tool bag to carry all my tools.
After lunch we went to Moon Lake on the light rail system with Eleanor and Alan from Belfast plus their studio assistant and interpreter. The lake was even better being able to walk though the many paths and bridges. There is nothing like a day in the park to freshen your spirit. After being their for an hour and a half the Committee called Eleanor and Alan and asked them to come back to the studio so that they could meet with reporters and talk about their two part piece that will be cast in bronze. Theirs is a very unusual work. Her element is a 1-meter by 3-meter tall pyramidal form with low relief images of wildlife and plant-life. Alan’s piece is a 4-meter tall fern like plant that hovers above the pyramidal form. It’s one of the most dynamic compositions in the group of works to be cast in bronze.
When we got back to the studio one of the Committee members told me that a bus was waiting to go a new sculpture park that will house the works from the six Sister City sculptors. Once we arrived at the Changchun International Sister City Sculpture Park we were shown a map of the park that was under construction. We were told to wonder the park and pick a site to place our bronze sculpture. Amazing. We were likes kids in a candy store with money to spend. I found a site that faced a lake, was on a low slope and was surrounded by eight 25-foot saplings. It couldn’t get any better than that. All the artists found very good sites in this new park that was in front of a 30-acre lake next to the new Changchun Government Building. They plan on placing more works there in the future.
When we got back to the studio I documented the metal shims and plastering that was being applied to “Visionary.” I also documented another dozen armature based molds that had been built onto a variety of 2 -3 meter high works around the studio. It’s an interesting process to watch how they approach each mold with shimming, plastering and armature building on top of the plaster. Once the plaster molds set up for a day they pull them off and yank out all the clay for other works under construction. Once they remove the armature-backed mold they place a releasing agent onto its face and begin their fiberglass work on the surface. Once the fiberglass is set up they pull out all the pieces and assemble the reproduced elements into a sculptural replica. Once this piece is finished by the artisans and the artist it is finished with some type of patina to look like bronze. This piece is what will be on display at the end of the symposium in early September. Once the symposium is over these fiberglass reproductions will be taken to the foundry for a finer quality mold making process. At some point I think we will take a tour to the foundry a few hours south of here.