Initially, small amounts of the cotton pulp
are pressed into the deeper crevices of the
rubber mold that has been taken off the original
wax sculpture. The artisans who are pressing
the image carefully consider how the elements
of the design will respond to the layering,
pressing and drying process of making the cast
paper. A two-inch layer of wet cotton linter
is methodically built up within a frame that
surrounds the rubber mold of the quilt square.
The water is slowly extracted
from the wet cotton linters with sponges and
the cotton linter is repeatedly pressed forcefully
in order to pick up the details of the rubber
mold. This layering process takes nearly an
hour for a single quilt square and half a day
for a full size six-panel quilt.
After the cotton linter is pressed
and cast into the mold it goes into a drying
oven for a few days. The cast paper shrinks
slightly and pulls away from the mold in drying.
Still, to avoid tearing, the cast paper and
rubber mold have to be carefully separated when
the paper is dry.
Single squares of each sculpted
quilt square are cast in paper, patinaed and
framed. Each participant received a cast paper
copy of their own quilt square patinaed and
framed. They are also sold for fundraising.
What we refer to as quilts, are
framed wall sculptures made up of six sculpted
quilt squares with sculpted quilt borders around
each square and around the outside of the group
of them. The six-square quilts are for the art
exhibition and are also sold for fundraising.
Anyone purchasing a full quilt
can choose the six quilt squares that they want
to be together as a collage. To set up a mold
for casting a quilt, the six rubber quilt square
molds are arranged with seventeen rubber corners,
and rubber inside and outside borders. This
whole grouping is placed in a specially fabricated
compression table that is designed to compensate
for the differences that occur in the size or
angles of the many squares and borders. The
success of this compression jig allows any of
the 276 quilt squares that are made at totally
different times to be picked out and grouped
into a six-panel quilt.
The cast paper quilts and quilt squares
are brought back to the monument projectís art
studio where a group of volunteers works directly
with Michael Irving to apply the bronze patina
process. The bronze patina on the cast paper
is made through applying more than twelve spraying,
sponging, brushing and rubbing layers of gesso,
paints and waxes. This layering of colours effectively
replicates a bronze patina look on the surface
of the cast paper quilts. Michael has won awards
in international sculpture competitions for
his painted finishes on carvings. Volunteering
to help with applying finishes to the cast paper
is an opportunity to learn his specially developed
layered painted patina techniques.
Will your hand
be in the Monument?