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  • Writer's pictureSarah McCartney

How are they made?

Had some lovely comments about the pieces I put in Jam Records – thank you all who have gone along to see them – they are still there for a bit those that haven’t.

As people seem to like hearing how I make them I thought I’d put in a few ‘work in progress’ pictures and say something about the processes involved. It is different with every piece. They all go through a journey, sometimes of a few weeks, sometimes a lot longer. But basically there are two parts to my pieces, the resin and the frame.

making silicone moulds

moulds ready to pour

The resin is made by pouring water clear casting resin into silicone moulds. I make the moulds myself but I also use silicone ice cube moulds, wooden frames and recycled tin boxes. I embed objects along the way, pouring a few millimeters with each new batch of resin and adding things at different levels. The text and images are printed on acetate or tracing paper. I try to be organised so I know what I’m going to put in each mould before I start pouring and I spend hours cutting up text and playing about with things with tweezers. But it can get messy and a word will blow away or I will make up more resin than I have prepared for so things can be spontaneous and unpredictable. Which is good!

The resins take a few days to cure then I have to clean them up to get the clear, polished finish. This is done by sanding with wet and dry paper in a tray of water starting with 100 rough grade and working up to 1200 fine grade. Its lots of monotonous work but its great if I’m feeling uninspired as I’m still doing something. Good music is key! Polishing is done by machine or by hand with brasso – usually both to get the finish I want.

gluing a frame together – this is old dado rail

The frames – well I am trying all sorts. I make frames out of new wood, old wood, driftwood, copper, brass, anything I can get hold off that might work. I’ve even started making moulds of wooden frames so I can cast my own resin frames.

Finally I can put them together. I have lots of resins and frames lying around my studio. Over the weeks they come together in various different ways until in the end they are brought together and stay – the finished piece.

resins and frames – in flux

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