Sunday, May 22, 2011

Off to Melbourne tomorrow

I am flying to Melbourne early tomorrow to work for 3 days at the foundry on the waxes of the Mary for Sydney. I'll be back Wednesday night.
I have spent the last two days watching my granddaughter Erin, compete at Women's Gymnastic National Level 7. She is trying to gain a place in South Australian State team to compete at the Nationals in a couple of months.
She did very well yesterday coming First in Vault with a Tsukahara vault.
She also came 6th on Beam and also on Uneven bars to place 4th overall in the competition.
Today her overall score was better but don't have all the final placings, but know she placed 1st on vault and equal 2nd on Beam .
Two weeks to the State Championships so I hope she will do well there also. There are 4 qualifying events with the last event at the State Championships to come.
I love watching her compete but it is nail biting stuff and we are all tense while it is on.
Meanwhile my eldest granddaughter is approaching her first Year 11 Formal Dance and has been making her gown herself which is great to see. Gosh they grow up quickly.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Black Hill photos

Banksia's in bloom

The beginning of the track

Beginning the climb

Me "fatty arbuckle"

Quite steep little climb

Still climbing, Cathy in front

Near the top ,the road is a firetrack for fire trucks to use.

First view to the coast

Edge of fire track with steep decent

Another track across the hillside

Quarry at the back of Black Hill

across the top

Views from the track

On the way down to the bottom of the hill ,then we start and climb over the hill back again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Work has slowed down these last couple of weeks.

Dismantling the sculpture
I began to dismantle the sculpture the day after the foundry left and began to pull off the clay in lumps and wet it down whilst it lay in some big containers.
I bagged it into about 28 bags so I could lift it into the car and took off for the Tea Tree Gully Craft workshops to use the basic pug mill .Probably there is about 150 to 180 kg of clay.
I spent most of the day there putting the clay through the mill.
I placed all the clay back in the containers and wet it down again and left it overnight.
The next morning I repugged the clay again to blend the containers together and finished bagging it up.By the time I cleaned the pug mill and mopped the floor, I was one very tired lady and was pleased to have half the sculpture's clay reclaimed.
I still have the rest to do but will keep the sculpture wet and wrapped in wet sheets and plastic till after I come back from the Melbourne trip .
I leave for Melbourne on Monday to spend 3 days checking over the waxes before they sprue  and invest the waxes.The foundry will be ready to pour the bronze into the investments in about a month.

Meanwhile I have started bush walking again with my friend Cathy.We both live in the foothills so bush walking is a relatively easy past time.We decided it was time to get fair dinkum and start walking through a steeper section of the hills, so we have walked Black Hill last week and again this morning.
The distance is about 12 km up and over this hill and we took 3 hours14 minutes to complete it today.
 We had good cool weather round 20 degrees and managed to gasbag  all the way, talking tends to stop you thinking about the steep terrain and I took my camera with me to take photos of the track.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cathy finishes her first half marathon.

My friend Cathy finished her first marathon on Sunday in damp cool conditions.
She has set the half marathon as a goal these past few months whilst I have been working on the Mary MacKillop sculpture and not exercising with her.
Cathy and I usually spend a few hours each week bushwalking together during the winter, so well done Cathy ! for actually getting all her training done by herself and competing the event in a good time.I am so chuffed with your effort.
I went walking with her yesterday and attended a Step into life cardio session today and I found my fitness level is approaching zero so I will have to start to work at fitness all over again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Special visitor Kathleen Evans to see the new sculpture of Mary MacKillop at the studio

 Kathleen Evans was a special visitor to my studio along with Sisters of Saint Joseph from Adelaide.

Kath with her husband Barry are in South Australia  to speak about her cure from cancer which has been attributed to the miraculous intercession of Mother Mary MacKillop .This miracle was instrumental in enabling Mary to become Australia's first saint.

Sisters of Saint Joseph visiting the studio to see the clay sculpture of Mary MacKillop.This is the only time many of the sisters will see the sculpture as after the moulds are produced, the sculpture will be transformed into wax and using the lost wax process will eventually be a bronze sculpture which will be transported to Sydney NSW from the Fundere foundry in Melbourne Victoria.

Last few photos at the end of Mary MacKillop mouldmaking process.

 The arm has been moved aside whilst the front section was removed. Collateral damage to the clay is inevitable.

 The crucifix stayed with the moul, as did the rosary.

 The top half of the sculpture's mould.

The serene face of Mary MacKillop after the moulds are pulled off the sculpture.

The mould making process took two and a half days. Cameron was able to load up his station wagon at 1.00PM He placed the moulds into a strong bag and secured it to the top of his car and was able to get away and drive back part of the way to Melbourne which is 730 km away.
I was left with cleaning up the debris from the demoulding process.

 Erin,our youngest granddaughter was the model for the movement in the sculpture of Mary.

 The bag with the moulds inside were placed on the roof of Cameron's car for the trip to Melbourne.

Saturday ,third and final day of mouldmaking for the Mary MacKillop Sculpture

 Cameron working at the bottom skirt applying fibreglass. Note the lift table is useful as the sculpture can be raised and lowered for working.

Three quarters finished.

 Showing back supports for the sculpture.

 Cameron using an electric saw to trim off the edges of the moulds.
He has already drilled holes for the bolts for when the moulds are reassembled.

 The wispy outline of the fibreglass is trimmed.

 The first pieces of the mould are taken off the arm to reveal the clay beneath
 The inside of the mould, the thumb is left behind in the rubber.

 A little persuasion is needed to break the suction of the mould against the clay.

 A wedge is forced between the two layers of mould.

 View of  the inside of the piece removed.

Easing the head mould off the sculpture
 Handy spot for a tool.

Side of mould removed.

 Tug of war to remove.

Friday, second day of mouldmaking for the Saint Mary MacKillop bronze for Sydney

 Applying thick RTV rubber to the front.

 I'm applying squares of felt to the sticky rubber after Cameron has applied the rubber.

 Top half completly covered with the RTV rubber and a layer of felt applied on top.
 Cameron form the foundry applying a thick layer of rubber to the back half of the habit.

 Second part of applying felt completed on the figure.

 Cameron begins the final layers of epoxy resin to the figure. He wets the felt with epoxy resin and then applies two coats of torn up squares of fibreglass matting, each one wet with epoxy resin to make a strong behind the flexible RTV rubber coating.
The fumes from the epoxy resin are very strong, so to protect himself, Cameron works on this part himself, with a ventilated breathing system to protect himself from the fumes.
He also wears skin protection, working in overalls and gloves

 Applying the fibreglass and pressing it into the felt with epoxy resin.

Front half of mould completed.
The work took all of Friday to complete to this stage and Cameron was thankful to call it a day and happy to leave the last half till Saturday.