It has taken me nearly three years to get over to the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center and take pictures of the sculpture of Evelyn. But just because Evelyn’s sculpture is complete it does not mean my connection to this woman is over. On the contrary. I have been working for 3 years to create a fitting tribute for her for a park in Bellaire, Texas. I am happy to say that the signing of that agreement took place in July of 2015 and the sculpture is well under way.
Evelyn’s Park is located just inside the loop at the former location of Teas Nursery. The expected date of the opening of the park and the completion of phase one is Summer 2016.
It has been a while in between posts, but tomorrow we will be bringing the Evelyn sculpture to the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. She may be home, but she will be standing somewhere out of site until the plaque is ready and plans have been made for installation. It won’t be long now. Pictures to come.
After about three metal checks the sculpture finally meets my approval for patination. It is once again sand blasted and the patination is applied. To get the color or patina the foundry man heats up the bronze with a torch and applies different chemicals. Often at this point I cannot tell what the sculpture will look like complete with the wax covering. So the foundry man wets the sculpture down with a hose. This gives the same appearance of the waxing process. The final process is a coat of hot wax.
Now on to figuring out installation. According to the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center they are having an event called the maccabie conference. It begins august 5th and goes to the 10th. I’m not sure why we can’t install it now, as the sculpture will be there for the up and coming conferences, but they have asked us to wait. So, I expect installation at the end of August. More on the installation and unveiling of Evelyn.
I was thrilled to be called into the foundry today to see the progress of Evelyn. She is well on her way to being complete for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. Unfortunately they are having a major event at the ERJCC so we will not be able to install her until the middle/end of August.
These are the things I look for when I go to the foundry for a metal check
- Does each piece look the way I sculpted it?
- Are there any metal burrs that need to be removed?
- Does the texture match my texture where it has been welded?
- Do her hands look natural in their placement on her body.
- How do all appendages look?
- Are there any holes or things that need to be fixed?
I walk around the sculpture and mark it with a marker. The foundry man will come back in and fix the things I request. She is so close. Next post will be about the patination or the final color of Evelyn.
I sure hate to see Evelyn this way. Not only is she in pieces, but she has welds all over her. I trust in Miguel at Betz Art Foundry. His work is impeccable. She will soon see Evelyn back together. I hate posting the picture with her with the strap around her neck, but we don’t want her to fall over and she is not welded to her base yet. I want to be sure she is going to stand properly so we tack on the arms and check her attitude! She does stand with an attitude and I want to be sure it is there.
You can follow along with this entire process of creating a life size bronze for the ERJCC on the Evelyn Rubenstein project blog located at http://erjcc.blogspot.com/
This entire process is pretty cool, but watching bronze being poured into the shells, well that is something. Photographs don’t really do this part justice, so I have uploaded a video of that part of the process.
I ran by the Betz Art Foundry today after receiving a message on my phone. “We are dipping.” Dipping is the next part in the bronze process. Before the foundry could dip they had to gate up each of the pieces. The waxes need pour cups to pour metal into and gates that will help the gasses escape. Each piece is coated and dipped many times covering both inside and out. This creates a ceramic shell. The ceramic shell is where the bronze will be poured, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Next post the burn out and pour of Evelyn Rubenstein.
I’m working on the few waxes that are here and I expect to receive a call from the foundry that the others are ready. If I am lucky then by the end of the week the foundry will have all of the waxes and they will begin the pouring process of Evelyn. It is so exciting. For the time being, in between working on waxes, I’m resting my hands and preparing for a meeting when I bring back the photograph of Evelyn.
Oh yes, it took us two days to get the studio cleaned up and it is ready for the next project.
Once all of the molds are at the foundry, they pour waxes. For every mold there will be a hollow think wax created. Because I finished the arms, head and base these are sent back to me first. What do I do with these? The wax stage is one more opportunity to add detail, and clean things up. Remember the rubber molds were in to parts and so there is also the cleaning of seams. Once I feel I have all of the pieces clean and that they go together correctly, we will start our process of bronze casting.
The mold making process is often done by the foundry. However, I create my own molds. It takes about 2 weeks of time and is very labor intensive. I’m thankful for the interns and helpers who have come to assist in the last two weeks of mold making. My husband kept coming down from his clean office and watching me tug, lift and pull and just shakes his head. My interns say it is better and more physical than working out in the gym. The mold making process consists of several steps.
1. Cutting up- This was already mentioned in an earlier post
2. Claying up- In this part of the process the mold is divided into two halves with clay seams. Pour cups are also added to the mold- This offers a place for the foundry to pour the wax.
3. Painting Rubber- Once the pieces are cut, cleaned and clayed up the rubber is painted on both halves of the sculpture. Four plus coats are used on each piece. It takes about an hour for the rubber to dry in between coats.
4. Mother mold- the mother mold is called that because it is placed on top of the rubber mold and holds the rubber in place. Without it, when someone tried to pour wax into the mold the mold would be miss shapen. Creating the mother mold is hard work. A very stiff plaster/cement is mixed for each half. I mix my plaster by hand. It takes about 40 minutes for each half of the mother mold. Everyone of the molds that I made had at least 2 mother molds- front and back. The chest had three because it was so large.