Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


 This is a sculpture of my granddaughter, Erin, at 7 years of age. She is now 16 years and is competing at  Australian National Women's Gymnastics at level 8. How time flies!!!

"I Can Do That" Bronze and Stainless Steel 207cm .

 Her last competition at Nationals saw her team from Tea Tree Gully, SA compete and come 3rd Team overall and she achieved achieved third place individually.

I have just been through the motions of costing the above sculpture to be hired as an artwork for a public place to add interest to the area for a 6 month duration.

I really wasn't sure what the normal charges would be but found help through NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts, Australia) who have a series of booklets  that give fees and other advise. I rang them as I am a member and they were very helpful over the phone. I also took advise from Arts SA who were also helpful.

I also needed the sculpture to be sound and Martin Murray , an engineer from George Street Studios, is able to make the sculpture more public friendly and would be able to install the piece if needed.

It was amazing just how much time was needed to complete this exercise  but at least I keep learning about procedures and what needs to be done before a quote can be written. There is some cost to the artist (hiring an engineer for work involved)  and looking at General Property Insurance for the sculpture but I was amazed how costs added up as I initially did not look at everything involved.

Another exercise is sending sculptures off to cities around the country and also sending unfired clay sculptures to an interstate foundry.  These are usually around the 70 kg mark  so they require care and manpower to lift them.

 I have just sent a Mary MacKillop CC bronze  bust to St Gertrude's Primary School at Smithfield NSW. They will build a reflective garden with the bust as the centrepiece of the garden.

I am finding it rather hard to blog about my practice of late as there have been commissions which require me not to disclose the work until it is installed and with large bronze work this often means that the work will not be completed for 8 to 12 months.

I have 2 such commissions at the moment. The first one is now at the foundry so I can focus on my new one.

I usually take from 2 to 4 months to model the work in clay and then the foundry work requires another 4 months to complete the work.

Commissions usually take several months before they are signed up and ready to go.
Often they begin with an expression of interest and a visit to my studio to see current work.

There are discussions on what the client is proposing and work then often takes the form of research,  the historical content and reading of contemporary accounts , especially when there are no photos available. Paintings are also a source of information and I am so happy to have the internet for research as it would take many, many more hours to research at the library.

Because of this, I do not post often.

I have however seen some wonderful sculptors from sites such as   www.figurativeartists.org
I saw this site on facebook and have visited it often.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Gawler Commission.

I was approached last year to sculpt a St Paul for a lovely old Federation Catholic Church in Gawler, South Australia. The town itself is one of the earliest towns after free settlers came to South Australia to live and there is many fine old examples of early cottages and business buildings in the area.

The church itself was built around 1900 and is predominately red brick and features four niches across the front of the church and were probably meant to house statues of the saints.

After researching the history and clothing and symbols for the saint, I began work on a half life size
saint in clay.
I had a large job as a sculptor for two war figures for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial which was to begin soon but I was waiting on the go ahead for this job which had been held up, so I took on this smaller job whilst I was waiting for the larger job to go ahead.

The niches were rather tall but shallow and were fancily shaped with cut brick.

The figure needed to be raised as the space was too tall for the figure so wood was added under the feet for height.

I decided to change the book for a scroll denoting letters. St Paul is dressed as a traveller with a cloak.

Details of the feet,

head, sandals and sword.

TUT foundry came to the studio and wrapped the soft clay sculpture to transport it back to their foundry where they would proceed with the mouldmaking , waxes and the lost wax method of producing a bronze.

St Paul in bronze, coloured at the foundry

Preparation for installation

Installed in the niche

Michael with his generous gift to the church, myself and Tim from TUT Foundry

The blessing on St Peter and Paul Feast Day, 29th June 2013

Thick fog going home after the service

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to Work

Paradise Harbour Antarctica.
This is the first post in almost a year. So much has happened since I last wrote.

Above is a painting I worked on last year and then continued on painting again this year as I wasn't entirely satisfied with the results. I have also painted a further two smaller paintings of the same iceberg from a different angle and showed them at the Saint Ignatius Art Show last weekend.

This is really the first lot of work shown since last year.

I must say that the commission of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Soldiers Memorial was not carried through and I reluctantly decided against continuing with the job. Many of the problems stemmed from having someone else make my armatures and after a month's work they were still as much a problem that my best solution was to not continue with the  work.

Several week's later whilst driving home a car ran a red light and hit my car.The car was totalled and I ended up being taken by ambulance to hospital with both wrists injured and bruising to my chest, knees and arms and neck. My right wrist had been fractured in two places .Just as well I did not have  a major commission on my plate to complete.

A week later my husband had a major cardiac arrest whilst driving me home in his car.
We went through a roundabout and damaged the car.I pulled the wheel to the side of the road and found my husband to be unconcious and not breathing.With help from local people and ringing emergency service, my husband was resuscitated and given defribrulation and rushed to Adelaide hospital where we had a tense twelve days in ICU.

He finally came home from the hospital several days before Christmas and began a long recovery.
My youngest brother also died after Christmas from cancer which was unexpected. We had hoped
he would have had a slightly longer time to live.

So here I am beginning work again and trying to sort our lives out again.
Hopefully I will relate some of the new work I am now doing.
Hope you will join me with some of my new posts.        

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two new sculpture commissions.

Half a ton of clay for the sculptures

Male soldier armature, 2 m tall

Clay, female and male armatures on stands ready to go.
 Well it has been a long time since last writing that the new project was almost ready to go.
It has taken a full month to get the armatures drawn up and made. They are rather fancy with hinges and such to get the right position of the figure. The male soldier will be holding a WW1 rifle and be in full uniform with webbing so there will be a lot of detail to get right.
The female will be in nurses uniform.
Carving the internal support for the male
 The first thing I am doing is making an internal support for the male out of polystyrene.
I have inadvertantly cut myself twice with this big knife so I ordered a hot wire cutter which will arrive tomorrow.
At the end of the day the internal support glued overnight
Last thing today I glued the support on and it should be firm to work on tomorrow.

Whilst I have been waiting on this project to be ready, I took on another commission to make a half life sized figure so I have lots of work on the go.
I will be working on the private commission at weekends and if I get some down time or need a break I will work on this. A lot of the initial work has been done and the figure now needs work on the hands and feet.
It should be ready for the foundry mid November so I need to keep pushing both lots of work.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Open Studio for South Australian Living Artists (SALA Festival)

During the modelling of the Mary MacKillop bust.
The sculpture studio  will be open for all to visit and have a look around my studio, on Friday till Sunday, 11.30am to 4.30pm.
There will be wine and nibbles also available, so come and have a glass of wine with me and ask all those questions about bronze casting and modelling large clay pieces.
I particularly will be happy to have sculpture students attend.

I am soon to begin work on modelling a male soldier and female nurse for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial. This work is expected to take up to 5 months of modelling, before moulds are made for the lost wax casting at the foundry.

This new memorial has been many years in the project stage, but at last it is about to begin and will be placed at the Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide,in the latter half of next year.

Banner  featuring my painting from Townsville.

I have been lucky to have been given the banner from outside the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery of Queensland, on which my painting of "Caitlin" was featured.
I am going to hang it from our balcony next week during the Open Studio Days.
The painting itself is going to travel to Mt Isa as part of a travelling exhibition to be shown in September.
I have also been trail running and walking around our local Adelaide hills and did my first night run with Tracy McColl famed for her endurance running of "The North Face, a 48 hour hour event in the Blue Mountains which she finished in 24hrs with team members, and also clocked up 131.6 km during the recent 24hr run event in Adelaide,SA.
Needless to say  we took it easy as I had not run at night in the bush before. It was a great run with eyes in the bush gleaming as the torch rested upon the Kangaroos feeding near the track.

Tracy during the ultra Yurrabilla 56k event in 2010
It was a great experience, thanks Tracy.

Mary MacKillop Feast Day 8.8.2012

Bronze and "CCB" busts of Mary MacKillop

This is a photo of the two types of busts I have produced.
The one on the left is a foundry cast bronze of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
The one on the right is a "cold cast bronze" in epoxy resin produced from the same mould.
The bronze bust is 1/10 of a Limited Edition Bronze.
This bronze is destined for a Catholic Parish Church in Curtin, ACT. It will be a memorial to the life of Carmel O'Meara.

The  (CCB) epoxy resin bronze is the second bronze being bought by a catholic primary school. The first one was sent to Mt Isa, Queensland and this one is going to Sunshine, Victoria.
This is also being produced as a Numbered Limited Edition aimed towards schools who cannot afford a true bronze.
Please contact me if your school would like more information about either bronzes.
My email address is jurol@bigpond.net.au.

We went to the Mary MacKillop Feast Day mass at St Francis Zavier Cathedral where a beautiful mass was celebrated and afterwards everyone from the congregation were given a carnation to place on the statue of Mary.
It was a lovely tribute to our first saint in Australia.

John and I with Mary MacKillop statue in Adelaide,SA
We were also invited to the Archbishop's House for the presentation of the miniature  bronze of the large statue to be presented to the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Steven Yarwood, as Mary MacKillop worked in Adelaide as a St Josephite sister and was a fitting tribute to name her as a very special citizen of Adelaide.

Lord Mayor Steven Yarwood and myself with the Miniature bronze after the presentation
It was lovely to be thanked by both the Lord Mayor and Archbishop Wilson  as the sculptor of the large and miniature statues of Mary.