Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


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This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Sculpture Block

The SAA sent me 2 Sculpture blocks with a set of tools to try out. Sculpture block is a smaller version of sculpture canvas. It measures 15x15x2.5 cm It's a bit like oasis for dried flowers except denser and firmer. It is lightweight and can be carved with tools. It's rather like making a lino cut although much easier to cut. It can also be sanded.
I used a drawing of my local lavender field that I have previously done in watercolour and as a silk painting. The rows of lavender and the trees make such sculptural shapes and I thought would lend themselves to this. i cut away and sanded the top part of the sky area to make the trees and top cloud stand out. Lower down in the sky I left some of the horizontal marks left behind after carving as they suggested layers of more distant clouds. I carved and sanded the shapes of the rows of lavender then applied a coat of acrylic gesso to seal the whole surface and make it easier to paint. I made some more texture with the gesso. I painted using acrylic paints.
I like the idea of being able to make a 3d surface and textures. I wasn't so keen on the painting part as it felt like painting one of those plaster cast figures we used to make as kids. Maybe thicker paint and more of it would be better. 
I have placed the block in a frame and will probably fix it there using a strong double sided tape.
The block could be put directly on a wall without a frame. A small hole could be made in the back to accept a nail on the wall. Or D rings could be screwed onto the back of the block secured with some glue then cord attached.
With the other block that I have I think I will explore using it to print from.
 I have both sides to experiment with.

I mostly used the 2 tools on the right.

above  extra texture made using gesso

I gessoed and painted the sides as well.

The blocks and canvases are available from the SAA