FINISHING THE BRONZE MONUMENT:
AN ONGOING REPORT BY MICHAEL C. IRVING, PH.D.
is Dr. Irving and Team Doing During Summer 2007
|August Welding and
|July Ready To Weld
|April Second Figure
|February 2007 Bronze
Casting Done #1
|Foundry Plans for
|Stages in Completing
|How can I Help WIth
Completing the First Monument Figure?
|Review the Progression
of the Final Phase of the Monument
|Overview of the State
of the Monument 2005-2007
on Dr. Irving's Heart Attack
to Finish the Monument?
is the Estimated Completion Time of the Monument?
are the Unveiling Plans?
can I Help?
September 14, 2007
A stunning Day has Arrived
for the "Reaching Out"
Child Abuse Monument
One completed monument figure sits
in the studio yard ready to be moved back to Toronto
after 17 years of designing, planning, interviews,
focus groups, sculptural model making, preliminary
research workshops, fundraising, quilt square workshops
across Canada, coast to coast school programs, gathering
HandPrints from every Province, quilt square mold
making, sculptural enlargement, fabricating quilt
squares into enlarged monument, monument mold making,
production of foundry lost waxes, fabrication of foundry
sand cast patterns, bronze sand casting, ceramic shell
lost wax bronze casting, bronze welding, metal detailing
and chasing, sandblasting, polishing and bronze patina.
There is still time for you to
contribute your hand
as part of Dr. Irving's vision of a national visualization
of our commitment to protect children.
The bronze "Reaching Out" monument is
more than 10 feet high. Together with another
figure the sculptural vignette will be nearly
30 feet across.
Adorning the "Reaching Out" figures are
300 quilt squares made in collaboration with Dr. Irving
by survivors of child abuse, their supporters and
school children from across Canada. Each quilt square
is an amazing message of hope, inspiration, validation
The following web page documents
the last two years of Dr. Irving's work at the
bronze foundry and art fabrication studios.
At the Vietnam War Memorial in the fall of 1990
Dr. Irving made the decision to create a national
child abuse memorial in the form of a major bronze
Dr. Michael C. Irving sculpted the original sketches
for the "Reaching Out" child abuse monument
in spring of 1996.
Survivors from across Canada participated in workshops
to add art images and writings to the sculpted quilt
panels Dr. Irving made from their hands.
Barbara's square has images of a child weighted
down by baggage and says, "Sexual abuse is
too heavy for any child to carry through life."
At events from coast to coast school children gave Dr.
Irving their drawn hands and messages for inclusion
inside the child abuse monument figures as a national
visualization committed to the protection of children.
More than 20 professional sculptors worked with
Dr. Irving for longer than a decade to sculpt the
monument in plaster and wax and eventually fabricate
molds and patterns and turn the monument into bronze.
Nearly as much Dr. Irving's time and effort was
expelled in fundraising and community outreach as
Dr. Irving and his wife Cheryl made the difficult
decision to completely rebuild one of the monument
figures after inferior production in an American
Dr. Irving worked directly with all aspects of production
through the mold making fabrication and bronze casting
There are two figures that comprise the "Reaching
Out" child abuse monument. The bronzing of
the first figure is completed. It will take more
than a year to complete the molds and bronze foundry
process of the second figure.
This give us time to continue creating
a national visualization committed to the protection
of children. We need your hand on a piece of paper
for placement inside one of the two monument figures.
Mail your hand
outline to the "Reaching Out" monument.
Your hand will be an important part of the "Reaching
Out" monument through its presence inside the
bronze figure and as part of the "Reaching Out
was Dr. Irving and His Team Doing During the Summer
Sculpting Team Activities in Early
Brett Davis of Age
of Bronze has nearly completed the application
of patina on the back and front of the monument
Heat and cupric nitrate solution is being applied
to the hand to arrive at the blue green of aged
The last quilt square on the front of the monument
figure is being patinaed.
Brett uses a torch to heat the bronze while he
is applying the patina to the head of the monument.
Brett applies patina to first quilt square on
back of monument figure.
Just prior to application of bronze patina Imantz
Kruze views a portrait of his son that was sculpted
by Dr. Michael C. Irving.
Brett applies final patina on first monument figure
in September 2007.
Artist Brett Davis sculpts in bronze and stone.
Brett has over 20 years of working experience in
the field of patina that includes: consulting, research
and development, restoration and preservation of
patinas on historical and contemporary works of
art. He also teaches the art, science and history
of patinas using special techniques on various metallic
and non metallic surfaces.
Sculpting team activities in Late
August 2007 and Early September in preparation
for final patina
The "Reaching Out" Child Abuse Monument
is ready for patina by Brett Davis.
Dr. Irving is finishing the final application
of a polishing of the bronze after the light sandblasting.
This polish will help to give a luster to the
patina that is to be applied the next day.
Welding, grinding, chasing and detailing are complete
on the first monument figure. It is placed on
a trailer to take to another studio for a light
sandblasting before the patina is applied.
Eric and Vince are doing the final installation
of head after monument is moved out of welding
The first figure of the "Reaching Out"
Child Abuse Monument is fully assembled at this
point except for the final welding of the head
to the base of the figure.
All the details of the quilt square
are being examined prior to completion. Dr. Irving
is using a fine chisel to touch up lettering in
a survivor participant's quilt square. In a week's
time the figure should be complete.
We now need
funding to undertake to long process of completing
the second Child Abuse Monument figure and to
get the monument's message out to people. Contribute
donations if you can.
Tell others to make a donation to this incredible
Vince Graham is working with Dr. Irving to move
the Child Abuse Monument through its final stages
of production. Vince is a sculptor and welder
is who recognized as one of Canada's premier welders
with fabrication and installation services for
fine bronze sculpture. His work can be found in
Canada, USA, Germany, Japan, Bermuda and Yugoslavia.
Dr. Irving chasing in quilt detail as monument
goes into final stages of assembly. The monument
is now weighing more than 3000 lbs. The head being
placed on top of the quilt and shoulder panels
weighs nearly 500 lbs.
The head will not fit out the door
of the welding studio. The tip of the hands have
a two inch clearance below the top of the door.
The hands and shoulders will be welded on top
of the quilts. The head will be fitted in place
and then temporarily removed to be finally welded
in place after the figure is move to just outside
the welding studio.
Vince Graham setting up temporary weld support for
head while Vlad does chasing in of texture on edges
of quilt borders.
Vince prepares head for final attachment and welding.
Vince welding arm and hand in final assembly of
Vince welding shoulder to top of quilt.
Vince Graham contact details
12332 20 Side road
Canada LOP 1H0
Ph: (905) 877-2035
August 4, 2007 Dr. Irving joins
the Final Assembly
of First Figure of
The Child Abuse Monument
The next stages
of work on the Child Abuse Monument is to weld
together over 50 components that have been cast
in bronze. These components such as panels of
six quilts, sides of the sleeves, shoulder and
the head weigh upwards of 150 to 300 pounds. As
the head, shoulders, hands and sleeve assemblies
are fitted and welded together with all their
components they will be weighing upwards of 600
to 1000 pounds. These large pieces have to be
bent, pulled and hammered into shape to precisely
fit each other and they have to be lifted, moved
and worked into place.
The welding together, grinding
and chasing in details of the first figure of
the monument progressed from early August of 2007
and is expected to last into mid September.
The work entails the assembly of heavy
pieces of bronze weighing from 150 lbs. to over 2000
lbs. each. Nearly two hundred feet of finely controlled
welding is being done by Vince Graham and Dr. Irving.
Grinding in hundreds of feet of quilt border patterns.
Vlad, Stephen and Dr. Irving are reworking many thousands
of crosshatch patterns along the edges and intersections
of the quilt borders.
Each quilt square is being examined
for details and lettering that are ground with
fine dental tools or chased with chisels is bring
the sculpture up to the highest quality in finishing.
Vlad chasing in details on quilts for back of
figure and Dr. Irving is using DynaFile to grind
in quilt border details. These are tedious time
consuming processes that take up the better part
of two months with a monument figure of this size
Dr. Irving has specifically designed and ground
chisels that replicate the patterns that were
sculpted in the original wax quilt borders. With
the right force these chisels actually engrave
the pattern or texture into the actual bronze.
This hammering and engraving process in bronze
is called chasing.
Vince Graham welding end edge on front quilt.
weld on hand and shoulder unit.
Dr. Irving grinding down edge weld on hand and should
Finished weld after detail has been chased back
Vlad, Dr. Irving and Stephen using chisels and hammers
to chase in quilt border details.
The end panels of the monument figure have been
welding together and are stored under tarps to protect
the surface from being patinaed by the rain.
2007 we started the final welding for one of the Monument
That's right! After 12 years of
planning, workshops, sculpting and foundry work
we are bringing one monument figure into its final
stages of sculpting and fabrication. For several
weeks Vince will fit weld together 57 panels and
components into one 11 by 15 foot bronze figure.
Then in August Michael and Vlad will help as these
heavy units are moved and set up for the grinding
and chasing process.
The components of the head have started to be welded
together for later welding.
Shoulder panels are ready to weld.
2007 after being irreparably damaged in an American
foundry The Second child abuse Monument figure is
In the summer of 2005 we found
out the quality of the work of one of the Monument
figures was gravely compromised through an inferior
choice of casting processes. After so many years
of work we had to ask, "Do we proceed with
what we have even though it is inferior or do
we rebuild the quilts of the figure from the original
molds of each participants work?" It was
a major decision in terms of time and commitment.
How could we ever do this?
Andrew Krawczyk owner of LP Bronze
International came to our rescue. He worked out a
plan with Dr. Irving to cast the figures and gave
the space to rebuild the damaged art work from scratch.
Eighteen months later Dr. Irving and his team completed
a remarkable job of rebuilding a new and finely detailed
2007 one of the
Child Abuse Monument Figures
is Completely Cast in Bronze
The last of 57 large pieces of
large bronze was cast in the art foundry.
Plans for the Second Monument Figure
We need to raise several
hundred thousand more dollars before we can proceed
with casting the second monument figure into bronze.
Donations will greatly
help with this work.
Wish us luck. Contribute
donations if you can.
Tell others to make a donation to this incredible
Stages in Completing The Child Abuse Monument
Completion of Figure #1 - Done
1. Weld together figure. Done
2. Clean up welds, regrind in
3. Lightly sand blast figure.
4. Polish figure. Done
5. Patina figure. Done
Completion of Figure #2 - In Progress
1. Finish moulds of quilt squares.
2. Cast quilt squares into bronze.
3. Cast 4 side panels into bronze.
4. Weld together figure.
5. Clean up welds and regrind
3. Lightly sand blast figure.
4. Polish figure.
6. Patina figure
I help with completing the building of the Child
Collecting HandPrints to place
inside the Child Abuse Monument can be a great
contribution for helping to create a national
visualization for how we want the world to be
for children. All we ask is for an outline of
a hand to be placed on a piece of paper and for
a message to be written about creating the world
for children or a message of support for survivors.
We will bundle and shrink wrap all these hands
and messages and place them inside the bronze
monument figures. Examples of the HandPrints collected
to date are on the left side of many of the pages
of this web side. To read more about the "Helping
Hands" Campaign go to the "Helping
Hand" web page.
the Progression of the Final Phase of the Monument
First an overview of the
final steps in creating the monument is presented.
This is followed by a progression
timeline in reverse chronological order. You will
following our story back from the spring of 2007
to the winter of 2006.
of State of the Monument 2005-2007
Thank you for visiting
us during the final stages of building the bronze
Monument. So much is happening at this important
and critical stage of making and casting the Child
Abuse Monument that Dr. Irving will be giving
a frequent update throughout 2007.
By June of 2000 all of the
original work was done in plaster and wax of sculpting
the original patterns for two figures and quilt
squares for the Child Abuse Monument.
Initially one of the figures (Figure
#2) went to an American bronze foundry but they
used a crude sand cast process for casting the
quilts rather than a lost wax ceramic shell casting
process as they had originally contracted with
us. Rather than accept a less than optimal work
of art Dr. Irving decided to resculpt the quilts
of this figure.
Progression of Figure One
In the fall of 2005 BLP Bronze International a
Canadian foundry was paid in full to cast another
one of the figures (Figure #1) into bronze.
Many cracks developed in
the wax quilts and quilt boarders of monument
figure #1 from sitting in changing temperatures
and humidity environments for over 5 years. Over
the fall of 2005 and the winter and spring of
2006 O'Puck, Cheryl, Richard, Bruce and Dr. Irving
cleaned these wax quilt borders up and made silicone
molds in preparation for lost wax casting of one
of the monument figure's 150 quilt squares.
In the summer of 2006 Vlad, Richard
and Dr. Irving made negative urethane molds and positive
Fiberglas patterns in preparation for sand casting
both of the monument figures' heads, sleeves arms
A monumental step occurred
in making the Child Abuse Monument over the fall
of 2006. Eric, Randy, Arnold, O'Puck and Dr. Irving
sand cast 42 large bronze components for two of
the monument figures at the BLP Bronze International
Through the fall and the
beginning of winter of 2006 Vlad, Richard and
Dr. Irving were doing the heavy work of sandblasting,
grinding and shaping the bronze pieces of the
head, shoulders, hands and sleeves of one of the
bronze figures and started to assemble and weld
them. By mid-winter of 2007 this first figure
was fully cast into nearly 60 bronze components.
During the Summer of 2007
Dr. Irving guided the first figure through the
welding, chasing, redetailing and patinaing process.
Donations will be
of great value to us to move along the next stage
of building the Child Abuse Monument.
Progression of Figure Two
From February 2006 through December of 2006 O'Puck,
Richard, Steve, Vlad, Dr. Irving and drop in volunteers
cleaned up and prepared 150 wax quilt squares
for rebuilding the second monument figure that
was damaged at the U.S. foundry.
From December of 2006 to
Mid-March of 2007 Vlad, Richard, Steve and Dr.
Irving cleaned up the details of the borders of
quilt panel and worked all the wax quilt squares
of the second monument figure into their respective
Over the months of January,
February and March the team cleaned up the details
of the borders of quilt panels in preparation
for the final stage of lost wax casting the second
Monument figure. As each quilt panel was completed
a first protective layer of silicon mould was
applied to the 27 finished quilt panels. By mid-march
the twenty-seven panels were completed and the
first layers of silicon molds were applied.
A Great Thanks to All
The team of sculpting volunteers
in the studio were an amazing help in assisting
with the work in completing the Child Abuse Monument
figures. A heart felt thank you goes out to all
who brought the monument along.
Now that the damaged figure
is rebuilt and the first figure is completely
cast in bronze we are no longer doing Volunteer
Sculpting Days in the BLP International studios.
We are grateful to all the
volunteers who contributed to this amazing accomplishment.
Much preliminary work occurs
the foundry before the bronze
is heated to a molten metal.
"Reaching Out" Monument
figure is taking place at the
BLP Foundry in Toronto
over 2005, 2006 and 2007.
August 21 to September 21,
Over these four weeks O'Puck
was making molds and doing pattern work for BLP
Bronze. Richard, Vlad and Dr. Irving were making
fiberglass foundry patterns of the twelve sleeve
components; three shoulder and hand components
and two patterns of the head and neck. These component
patterns are to be used for the bronze sand casting
process. Each week Eric in the foundry is casting
several of these component patterns into bronze.
After Dr. Irving's heart
attack in June he is no longer doing the Evening
or Saturday Volunteer Sculpting Days. Sculpting
volunteers are welcome to work in the studio Monday
to Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm.
The team of sculpting volunteers
in the studio have been an amazing help in assisting
with the work in completing the Child Abuse Monument
July 14 to August 18, 2006
Over these four weeks O'Puck continued
to work on the set of four Mandalas with Dr. Irving
primarily serving as supervisor and teacher to
O'Puck's sculpting. O'Puck made a major leap forward
in his sculpting training by taking on the sculpting
of a relief figure of Saint Santo Nino de Atocho
under the supervision of Dr. Irving.
Towards the end of July Richard,
Vlad and Dr. Irving finished the clean up of the
wax quilt squares for the rebuilding of the second
damaged Child Abuse Monument figure. This is a
landmark step in resculpting this figure.
Vlad, Richard and Dr. Irving spent
one week making urethane rubber molds of the the
two eight-foot sleeves of the Child Abuse Monument
figures. Each of the sleeves were divided into
six mold sections in order to take into account
the shape of undercut lines and the size of casting
boxes in the foundry.
In a second week Vlad, Richard
and Dr. Irving made the twelve mother molds to
support the urethane sleeve component molds. Taking
these mold patterns off the Monument master was
a major milestone in casting both Monument figure
-- all the component molds in preparation for
bronze casting the head, shoulders, arms, hands
and sleeves are completed.
July 3 to 14, 2006
Over these two weeks O'Puck
made molds and did pattern work for BLP Bronze.
Richard, Vlad and a new sculpting volunteer Sherry
did undercuts to the hands and art work on wax
quilt square for rebuilding the second Monument
figure. It is remarkable how much work they have
accomplished over the past month. Dr. Irving worked
in the foundry for the first week on a rose and
cross sculpture for BLP Bronze and is working
with another artist, Mike Maston, on a memorial
relief portrait of a man, and a separate portrait
of a woman Sara Conner. The second week Dr. Irving
went to a cottage for the week and the rest of
the sculpting team kept up the studio work.
Mike Maston, O'Puck and Richard
worked together on sculpting leaves and wolf prints
for a plaque for the City of Markham. The leaves
were stylized and looked quite nice. Mike Maston
sculpting a Christ figure with that went with
a set of four Mandalas O'Puck and Dr. Irving are
preparing for BLP Bronze.
June 19 to 23, 2006
This week of O'Puck made
molds and did pattern work for BLP Bronze. Richard
and a new sculpting volunteer Vlad did undercuts
to the hands and art work on wax quilt squares
for rebuilding the second Monument figure. Dr.
Irving worked in the foundry on Thursday and Friday
to meet with the team on a second version of the
sculpture for OCE (Ontario
Centres of Excellence). Dr. Irving also continued
working on a cross and roses that were being worked
on just before his heart attack. O'Puck, Elder
Vern Harper-Asin and Dr. Irving participated with
the Wakinyan Awasis Sculpture Park model at The
Buffalo Jump Unity Festival as part of National
Aboriginal Day on Wednesday June 21 at Trinity
May 6 to June 16, 2006
Beginning this week reports
became scattered during this time as the activities
and hours in the foundry became quite hectic.
The overwork, stress and hectic pace resulted
in a Dr. Irving experiencing a heart attack.
short note on my heart attack
It is with great pleasure
and appreciation that I am here today and with
strength and a sense of support from others I
move forward through this challenging and inspiring
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I had a heart attack and fortunately had the where-with-all
to get aspirin in me as it was happening and my
wife got me to a hospital in a very short time.
I began a second heart attack on Monday which
felt worse than the first and it vividly illustrated
to me that I have to take seriously the condition
I have created with my relationship to food, exercise
and stress. A couple of more angina attacks were
just footnotes on the basic message.
In the end the heart damage
was not too bad and on Thursday I had an angioplasty
with three stents. I was told before hand that
because of some irregularities to the arteries
of my heart and the location of the blockages
in the arteries it was to be a particularly difficult
angioplasty and stenting that may end up having
to move up into being a double by-pass surgery.
I received tremendous support
over the week from many people - to know others
care so much.
My elder, Vern Harper-Asin,
did ceremony and medicine with me on Tuesday.
We did prayers for the Doctor's hands in the evening
before and morning of the surgery. Buffalo spirits
filled my room for three days. I brought my medicine
bundles and ceremonial artifacts with me to the
operation room at Toronto General Hospital, one
of the best hospitals in the world for the procedures
I needed. The nurses set up a small alter near
the operating table with my artifacts and just
before they began the surgery they asked if I
would like to have my two medicine bundles with
me. They placed them on top of my heart, where
they rested for the entire angioplasty and stenting.
Buffalo spirits calmly stood about the operating
room and one peaceful buffalo entered my body
and kept his spirit completely filling me over
the two hour procedure. A child and mother buffalo
stayed at my side the whole time. I was awake
and alert for the duration of the procedure and
was watching it on TV monitors much of the time.
A few times when they were expanding the balloons,
placing in the stents or expanding them the chest
pains increased or my fear grew. I asked for and
received assurance when I floated a bit and felt
like I might be beginning to loose it. Mostly
I felt comforted and assured that what needed
to happen was happening. Everything went extraordinarily
In the bigger picture this
heart attack is a gift as a major wake up call.
The Creator is telling me to make some significant
life style changes or accept the inevitability
of an early and untimely trip to the other side.
My wife and friends have
been remarkable in supporting me, and the worry
and fear of my children emphasizes the degree
to which I must stay here for them.
I will be slowly moving
back into work and social and community commitments.
Include me, my heart and
my commitment to permanently make dramatic and
significant lifestyle changes in your prayers.
Michael (June 19,
You may send me notes of support to email@example.com
Update on my recovery
from heart disease. As of January, 2007 I am walking
and jogging 20 miles a week and bike riding another
50 miles a week. I do relaxation exercises, meditations
and visualizations a few times a day. I am eating
a Dr. Dear
Ornish vegetarian type diet that has 10% fat.
My cholesterol has lowered more than 70%. Both
my LDL and HDL are in great ranges. I have lost
70 lbs. It will likely be several years before
I sufficiently reverse the heart disease I got
Thanks again for
P.S. I am pleased
to report an update on my heart recovery in the
summer of 2007 can be seen on an article by Canada
April 30 to May 6, 2006
This is a week of O'Puck
making molds and Dr. Irving cleaning up and refining
sculptures and foundry patterns for BLP Bronze
and sculpting the Plasticine stage of a sculpture
for OCE (Ontario
Centres of Excellence). Dr. Irving is finishing
the bronze casting of the four quilt panel made
of the HandPrints from the Branksome Hall six
grade art class and preparing for the Exhibition
Day at Branksome Hall. If O'Puck and Dr. Irving
have time between all these activities they will
work on more of the foundry patterns for the hands
and arms of the Child Abuse Survivor Monument.
Richard will be casting waxes of the quilt square
for most of the week.
Saturday will be another
Volunteer Sculpting Day and volunteers are welcome
to come from noon to six p.m..
April 23 to 29, 2006
This was a remarkable landmark
week in the foundry. By mid-week we were pouring
the first bronze for one of the Monument figures.
Monday and Tuesday O'Puck
and Dr. Irving continue Realigning the edges of
the fiberglass patterns for the three components
of one of the hands and shoulders of the figures.
Tuesday morning they made foam filling cores for
the sand casting process of the hand and shoulder
components. On Tuesday afternoon Eric and Dr.
Irving made one half of sand cast mold of the
underside of one of the hand in a molding box.
Finishing this had the clear feeling of an epic
moment in the making of the Child Abuse Survivor
Monument -- it meant that pouring bronze would
be happening the next day.
On Wednesday morning Eric,
as soon as an additional molding box was available
Eric finished making the sand cast mold of the
underside of the hand. Before lunch the sand cast
molding box was opened and the fiberglass form
of the hand component was removed and the mold
cleaned up. The molding box was reassembled waiting
for bronze to be heated to a melting point after
In the early afternoon of Wednesday
April 26, 2006 the sand cast mold of a hand component
was put in place near the furnace and Arnold brought
the bronze up to more than two thousand degree Fahrenheit
and a monumental transition in building the Child
Abuse Survivor Monument took place.
Activities and Events
Over the Week of April 16 to April 22, 2006.
Over the week of April 16
to 22. O'Puck and Dr. Irving continued to focus
on making resin forms that Eric at BLP Bronze
will use for casting the hands, shoulders and
head will have to start being made. Richard continued
to cast wax quilt squares for the second Monument
Figure. Bronze components of the Child Abuse Monument
Tuesday O'Puck and Dr. Irving
went to the Aboriginal
Affairs Committee Meeting at Toronto City
Hall to continue promoting the Wakinyan
Awasis sacred site and sculpture park.
Wednesday Richard cast 6
quilt square in wax. Five were excellent casts
and one had some air bubbles on the surface so
it was set aside to be recast on Thursday. O'Puck
and Dr. Irving did fiberglass lay ups for the
underside of one of the hand and part of the top
of the shoulder. Dr. Irving, Mustapha, George
and Eric brainstormed the casting process for
making a 36 inch bronze. With all of its curves
and twists the piece is complicate to sand cast.
The approach to sand casting influences the most
appropriate materials for Dr. Irving to sculpt
and work in.
O'Puck and Dr. Irving spent some
time making a urethane molds for a foundry patterns
for a bronze vase. Dr. Irving spent some time talking
with Bret Davis of Age
of Bronze about the patina for 15 stages of the
cross and about approaching the patina on the large
Child Abuse Monument. Bret is going to do a patina
workshop with Bruce Armstrong, O'Puck and Dr. Irving
at the BLP Bronze foundry
in preparation for the patina on the Child Abuse Monument.
Thursday O'Puck poured the
supporting plaster mother mold for the urethane
mold we made on Wednesday. Richard Organized the
group of quilt squares on the panel of the front
of the second Monument figure that we are rebuilding.
The quilt square were placed in groupings for
their respective 11 panels. All the sculpted quilt
squares on the front of the Monument have now
been cast by Richard. He is working on the quilt
squares for the back. Due to the vertical and
horizontal curve of the Monument figures there
are 16 quilt panels on the back. It ends up being
63 quilt square comprising the front of each figure
and 87 quilt squares making up the quilt of the
back of the figure.
The smell of the resin was
bothers some people in rooms near the area the
fiberglass casting patterns were being laid up
in, so O'Puck spent the morning moving the fiberglass
workstation and all its molds and material to
a more remote and suitably ventilated area of
the foundry. In the afternoon O'Puck sanded and
cleaned up the surface of the three fiberglass
lay ups that have been made.
Dr. Irving did designing and
material plans for the upcoming Excellence sculpture.
He met with Eric to go over the fiberglass and resin
casting patterns. When the fiberglass patterns were
pulled out of the urethane mold the fiberglass pieces
each shrank and warped to different degrees. To have
the least amount of working in welding the components
together after casting them in bronze they needed
to be sculpted to bet a more perfect alignment to
the edges of the pieces. It is easier to build up
a surface on the fiberglass than to shave the fiberglass
down. Much of the work in realigning the edges was
accomplished with auto body filler or "bondo".
The body filler is an interesting sculpting material.
It is made of nine hollow glass beads that are added
to liquid resin until it becomes a thick paste. A
catalyst is added to the past and there is a short
time to use it before it begins to harden and is no
longer sticky and malleable.
Friday O'Puck and Dr. Irving
spent the day realigning the edges of the fiberglass
patterns for the three components of one of the
hands and shoulders of the figures.
Saturday was a Volunteer
Sculpting Day and Nina came in and mounted her
quilt square into the six panel quilt that it
goes with in the second Monument figure. Saturday
Dr. Irving worked on a group of designs for an
Exhibition he is having in June.
Activities and Events Over
the Week of April 10 to April 16, 2006.
The week of April 10 to 16 was
filled with activities. The week will began with preparing
Child Abuse Monument bronze casts of HandPrints for
Branksome Hall and preparations for the tour. The
tour took place on Tuesday and the remaining of the
week was spent on a complete organization of quilt
squares and HandPrints for rebuilding the second Monument
figure. Near the end of the week we began to make
resin forms that Eric at BLP Bronze will use for casting
the hands, shoulders and head will have to start being
On Monday Richard continued
making waxes and O'Puck removed the last of the
duplicate wax quilt squares from the first Monument
figure that will need to be placed on the second
Monument figure. Richard cast 3 plain wax quilt
square panels and four wax quilt squares. Andrew
printed out all the PhotoShop files of the 10
by 10 inch HandPrints that will need to be traced
onto wax quilt squares for the second Monument
Eric cast bronze quilt border
figures on Monday for the Branksome Hall students.
Dr. Irving ground and polished the bronze quilt
border figures. These bronze quilt border figure
are quite nice and would be good memorabilia for
selling from our web site -- we need to do a costing
and figure out shipping. A large part of the Monday
for Dr. Irving was devoted to sculpting and assembling
a four panel wax HandPrint quilt that will be
cast into bronze for mounting at Branksome Hall
in their new atrium. O'Puck and Richard spent
the second half of the day preparing the studio,
Monument components and other art work for the
Branksome Hall tour. O'Puck and Dr. Irving went
over the presentation and demonstrations that
we are going to give on monument making. Dr. Irving
went over a last review of the tour with Eric
in the foundry and the Branksome Hall teacher,
The Tuesday Branksome Hall tour
to the foundry and Monument studio was amazing. Mustapha
Bouabbella, Vice-president Manufacturing took the
girl on a foundry tour of pattern making, moldings,
casting and pouring and finishing. They viewed the
sand cast process, where Eric demonstrated the first
stages of four of the Branksome Hall student's wax
HandPrints cast into sand molds. After this presentation
the students went to different areas of the foundry
to observe Arnold pour the molten bronze into the
sand cast molds. Students had personal box/cartons
filled with sand sculpting material to take back to
school for use to sculpt a work of art.
The students had a tour of the
art studio and reviewed Monument Making with Dr. Irving.
They looked at monument making through the stages
of public consultation, conceptualizing designs, sketching
and model making, enlarging and sculpting and mold
making and foundry preparation. The group reviewed
the Wakinyan Awasis model for a proposed sacred site
to honour the spirit of the child. Concepts of visualizing,
visualizations and visioning were explored. The tour
went to the warehouse room that was filled with the
array of disassembled Styrofoam and wax components
of the first Monument figure.
In Dr. Irving's sculpting studio
the students were guided through the creation of the
Child Abuse Monument from the mid-eighties to the
mid-nineties of conceptualization and community consultation.
We looked at the first 1/18 th size Plasticine, plaster
and bronze models for the final figure. Discussed
the sculpting of the 1/3 size figure and its functions
in expanding to a full size 11 ft. Monument with 150
quilt squares. The full size head, shoulders, arms
and hands were on display in the studio with accompanying
rubber molds and mother molds.
Using a the small quilt borders
with "Reaching Out figures Dr. Irving used
visual component samples of each step to review:
the sculpting and casting process from sculpting
the wax figure, pouring the rubber mold, casting
the foundry pattern, making the casting mold,
casting and cleaning up the bronze. After this
concise visual review presentation Dr. Irving
gave each of the students and the adults on the
tour one of the bronzes that he and Eric made
the previous day.
Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday
and Thursday Richard kept casting wax quilt squares.
To get the best cast and prevent air bubbles in
the wax Richard has refined the process to cleaning
the Urethane mold with sculpting tools, brushes
and methyl hydrate; spraying the molds with a
universal mold release and using a brush to apply
a de-bubbling agent; preheating heating the rubber
molds in our low heat oven to about 130 degrees
Fahrenheit and applying the wax at about 185 to
190 degrees for the first coat and 170 to 180
degrees for subsequent coats. To know the thickness
of the wax that is building up on the molds Richard
has covered one of Dr. Irving's graphics art light
boxes with a sheet of clear plastic and place
the molds on the light box. Any areas of the light
box that are not covered by a mold is covered
with a strip of plywood to prevent the bright
light from impeding a good view of the mold and
wax. The result is that areas where the wax is
still thin on the mold shine as a light golden
brown rather than a dark brown like the built
up areas. Our goal is to get a wax quilt square
that is slightly over 1/4 inch thick.
Wednesday and Thursday morning
O'Puck and Dr. Irving continued to catalogue and organize
the quilt squares and HandPrints for rebuilding the
second Monument figure. Part of Wednesday afternoon
was spent with removing quilt squares and HandPrints
from the panels of the first Monument figure. The
remainder of Wednesday afternoon involved setting
up a work area in one of the foundry warehouse areas
to do the fiberglass work for making the foundry sand
cast patterns. Three sets of tests for process approach
and thickness samples of the fiberglass was done near
the end of the day on Wednesday.
Late Thursday morning and
Thursday afternoon were devoted to doing the fiberglass
lay ups. The first lay up in the morning was not
satisfactory so it was pulled and discarded and
the mold was left to have the remaining resin
catalyze and harden. While the resin was hardening
fiberglass matt was torn into appropriate sizes
and the edges were frayed in preparation for lay
ups. O'Puck and Dr. Irving started the first two
lay ups of fiberglass and resin in the afternoon
and Dr. Irving stayed into the evening to do the
third layer of lay up and trim the fiberglass
before it got extremely hard. Near the end of
the day Mustapha stopped by to talk about an abstract
sculpture he would like sculpted next week. Dr.
Irving went over the process for approaching the
piece with O'Puck and set out the timeline and
stages for executing the work.
Friday was a day off.
On Saturday Dr. Irving sculpted
in the undercuts on two quilt squares and cleaned
up the three HandPrints for panel number 10 of
the 27 quilt square panel for the second Monument
figure. These five wax squares were fabricated
onto quilt panel number 10 and Nina was contacted
about fabricating her square into this panel following
Friday. This makes the first panel of the second
Monument figure that is being resculpted after
being damaged and lost in the foundry in the States.
One down and twenty six to go.
Activities and Events Over the
Week of April 2 to April 9, 2006.
Over the weekend, April 1
and 2nd, Jazz Roy and her dad translated four
of the HandPrints made by Branksome Hall six graders
into French. Dr. Irving took the four HandPrints
which were 81/2 by 11 inches and traced and reworked
them to fit on the 10 by 10 inch quilt squares
of the Monument quilts. Richard pour waxes for
these HandPrints to be transferred to and on Saturday
April 9 O'Puck, Vern and Dr. Irving inscribed
the Branksome Hall HandPrints onto the wax squares
and carved them into the squares. What we did
not finish on Saturday Dr. Irving carved in on
Wednesday. While we were carving HandPrints in
wax quilt squares Jesse was in the studio converting
a large restaurant fridge into a thermostatically
controlled warmer over for our molds and waxes.
Mike and Samir in the Service
Department of BLP Bronze volunteered some time
to scan, clean up and resize the HandPrints from
Monday April 3 we did some cleaning
up from the previous week's mold making -- plaster
of Paris work makes such a mess. Tuesday and Wednesday
Puck and Dr. Irving patinaed cast paper. On Thursday
Cheryl took the cast paper quilt up to Casting Impressions
to have framed.
Richard made wax quilt squares
most of the week and on and off over the week
Dr. Irving cut out duplicate squares and quilt
squares that are going to be remelted and reused
from the first Monument figure.
On Tuesday April 4 Dr. Irving
went through all of the drawings of the two Monument
figures and identified quilt squares that we already
had and quilt squares that needed to be duplicated.
On Wednesday and Thursday
O'Puck and Richard moved all the bronze quilts
that had been damaged on the second Monument figure
and arranged them with their rubber molds and
with the quilt panels from the first Monument
figure that new waxes are going to be worked into.
One Thursday Evan from the
Sales Department of BLP Bronze set up a series
of open houses and workshops for the Monument
studio with the City of Toronto Heritage Days.
Thursday Jazz Roy had a phone
call with further planning for the Branksome Hall
field trip. Dr. Irving had a meeting with Andrew
Krawczyk about the field trip as well and Andrew
and Dr. Irving brainstormed some about approaches
to our remaining fundraising needs.
Friday Mustapha and Dr. Irving
had some discussions about the Branksome Hall
field trip, Mustapha is going to give the foundry
tour and Dr. Irving am going to give a sculpting
studios tour. Dr. Irving spoke with Eric in the
foundry about how is is going to approach the
making sand cast mold boxes and bronze pouring
for the field trip and Eric bronze cast a series
of Monument keepsake figure for the visiting six
graders. The cast actually
came out quilt well and we will soon be offering
them for sale through our web site.
On Friday O'Puck cut out
16 duplicate wax quilt squares from the first
I tried a variety of ways
to do tracings of the HandPrints on the damaged
second bronze figure that will need to be resculpted.
Nothing worked to pick up the detail without a
long and complicated process. Dr. Irving finally
used O'Puck's digital camera to shoot pictures
of the bronze HandPrints. Andrew in the graphics
department of BLP set up an Apple computer with
PhotoShop to resize and cleanup the pictures in
order to use them for tracing patterns for sculpting
onto quilt squares. Dr. Irving converted to colour
pictures to grayscale, used brightness and contrast
until the hand outlines and writing showed up
best and then resized and reskewed them to become
10 by 10 inch squares. It is likely this process
is going to save us nearly a week in salvaging
and resculpting the damaged HandPrints form the
second Monument figure.
Activities and Events Over the
Week of March 27 to April 1, 2006.
On Sunday we received a $100.00
donation from Deana in Jacksboro, TX. We are grateful
for this donation and it will be dedicated to
staff for resculpting the second Monument figure.
Last week Puck, Richard
and Dr. Irving made the final silicone rubber
molds for the quilt squares for the first Monument
figure. This week we are making plaster mother
molds to hold the shape and form of the silicone
molds that were made last week.
Tuesday Dr. Irving went to
Hall to make HandPrint messages for inside
the Monument with the six grade art classes of
Jazz Roy. Their HandPrint messages were impressive
and again the insights and energy of youth were
inspiring about the compassion and motivation
that people can have in desiring to make a better
world. Two of the Branksome Hall HandPrint are
going to be sculpted into the second Monument
figure that we are working on. The whole group
of Branksome Hall HandPrints will be bundled,
shrink-wrapped and placed permanently inside one
of the finished bronze Monument figures like other
HandPrints from our Helping
Hands Campaign Dr. Irving will have to get
the HandPrints scanned and posted on a Branksome
Hall web page on our site.
Tuesday Dr. Irving went to
the Birch Ave. Monument mold storage room with
Richard and organized and picked up all the the
quilt square molds for rebuilding the second Monument
Impressions called and a large cast paper
quilt for fundraising activities is finished being
pressed and ready for pick up. This six
square quilt will need to be painted with
an acrylic patina and framed for the client. The
profit we make on the quilt will give us enough
funds to fabricate some of the quilt squares into
the second Monument figure that we are rebuilding.
Tuesday night Cheryl, Zac
and Dr. Irving spent time with the HandPrints
from Branksome Hall and pick out a few to go on
the second Monument figure. It is so amazing to
look at the HandPrints and read the depth of understanding,
insight and hope of children.
First thing Wednesday morning
before school Dr. Irving talked with Jazz Roy,
the art teacher at Branksome Hall about the HandPrints
we choose and the next steps with permission forms
and editing. Dr. Irving also spoke with Andrew
in the Graphics Art Department at the foundry
on Wednesday morning about scanning the HandPrints
from Branksome Hall. He is going to set up a scanner
within the foundry computer network for us and
Dr. Irving will have to track down someone to
volunteer some time to do the scanning'
Wednesday morning discussed
upcoming fundraising steps and strategies with
Will Andras. We need to review and distribute
the list of patrons and donors that have been
identified as possibly interested or supportive.
It is such an important project to complete and
final funding is so critical at this stage. We
do have a remarkable and committed fundraising
team at this stage and they have some significant
work ahead of them over the next while.
Monday Richard, Puck and
Dr. Irving made five plaster mother molds to support
and hold the form of the silicon rubber molds
of six panel quilts and borders. Wednesday we
should finish the remaining three. That will make
all the quilt squares for the first Monument figure
to be transferred into molds for making the casting
waxes for the lost wax bronze process.
Wednesday we started making
the support crates for moving and storing these
last silicone quilt square molds. We will continue
with these on Thursday and Friday. What and extraordinary
milestone in building the Monument.
Wednesday Cheryl picked up
a six panel cast paper quilt from Casting Impressions.
It was an exceptional cast in terms of detail
and finish. Dr. Irving will be doing the acrylic
patina on it over Friday, Saturday and Monday.
At the same time Dr. Irving patinaed the cast
paper Monument quilt he will also be patinaing
a large mother and child portrait of his and a
sitting woman nude. O'Puck will be helping Dr.
Irving with these so O'Puck can learn the acrylic
Dr. Irving worked with Richard
Wednesday afternoon to make five wax castings of the
quilt squares for the second Monument. Four of the
wax casting came out well and one had some air bubble
flaws so it will need to be poured again. These are
the first waxes for Richard to pour on his own and
he did a very good job of them. There is much to lean
in skill of mold preparation, wax temperature, building
up the wax and demoulding it. Richard looks like he
is going to be quite competent with it. It is interesting
to see with Richard how looking at and working with
the quilt squares affects people. The quilt squares
are all so powerful and story telling. There is much
about the issues of abuse to learn in having contact
with the squares.
On Thursday O'Puck, Richard
and Dr. Irving finished the plaster mother molds
and began opening up the molds from over the week.
The detail that the silicon rubber is able to
pick up is remarkable. The rubber finds its way
into some cracks that are not even noticeable
in the quilt square borders; so the thin flanges
that are created need to be cleaned up by pulling
them off, scrapping them with the edge of a sharp
tool or cutting them off with small scissors.
Two of Richard's waxes from Wednesday
had some problems of separating as they were pulled
out of the molds on Thursday morning so Dr. Irving
used a fine cutting blade on a foredom flexible shaft
to remove some mold overhangs that were getting in
the way. Richard redid those waxes and poured waxes
for another four quilt squares for the second Monument
figure. We have been gathering all the odd assortments
of wax around the studios to do the recasting of 100
quilt squares for the second figure. We are using
a ratio of 40 percent victory brown sculpture wax
and 60 percent pink jewelry investment casting wax
beads by weight to make casts of the quilt squares
to fit into the quilt borders. This gives us a wax
that is hard enough to work into the quilt borders
without leaving our fingerprints or tool marks as
the pieces are held and moved around. Also if we put
the wax quilt squares in an "incubator box"
for a time they soften up enough to sculpt in undercuts
and clean up any imperfections.
Mustapha from BLP Bronze
stopped by the sculpting studio to water some
of his garden plants we are keeping in the windows
and we talked about some of the timeline issues
for the Monument and casting.
Now that all of the quilt
panels for the first Monument figure have had
casting molds made of them we are going to start
reusing the borders of the quilt panels to remake
the damaged second figure. We have been very protective
of keeping the temperature of the quilt panels
stable because if the temperature goes up and
down the quilts and borders open up with cracks.
We are going to use this property now to get the
quilts and borders to crack so that we will be
able to pull the quilt squares out from the first
Monument figure to have reinserted the quilt squares
for the second Monument figure. So today, we started
moving the quilt panels into are area of the foundry
warehouse where the temperature had dramatic fluctuations.
We should know in a few days if this helps us;
if it does it will actually save much time and
prevent some significant wax damage and repair
that we were expecting to deal with.
Friday was such a long day
with getting the final silicon rubber cleaned
after opening the quilt panel molds and finishing
the crating. O'Puck took some photos of the final
work stages for the mold making.
Saturday Dr. Irving was in the
foundry art studio from noon to six p.m. to work with
volunteers to clean up undercuts on the quilt squares
for the second Monument figure that we are rebuilding.
Mike from BLP Bronze came in to volunteer. He scanned
the HandPrints that were made by the grade six classes
at Branksome Hall. Dr. Irving did paper work on the
height and positioning of each of the new quilt squares
that have to be put into the new quilt panels for
rebuilding the second Monument figure. The quilt squares
will be placed in a position from one to eight feet
in height. All the wax quilt squares at six, seven
and eight feet in height are primarily undercut from
the bottom and sides so that when looking up at the
final bronze there will be the most esthetic sense
of the artwork standing out from the quilt surface.
Quilt square at three, two and one feet are undercut
from the top and sides to assist with visual impact.
Whereas, quilt squares at four and five feet will
be undercut from all sides.
Dr. Irving completed the
undercuts on three quilt squares and did most
of the undercutting on on another one. On the
last piece there was detail that needed to be
resculpted from air bubbles in the wax and when
the undercutting was applied a significant amount
of sculpting needed to be done due to the detailing
in the background surface of the quilt square.
Dr. Irving used a jewelers magnifying glasses
that are worn like a hat to do detail work like
this. They help a lot with seeing and working
The undercutting is an issue
at this point because when we made the original
single quilt square molds as each participant
finished we made sure the completed wax quilt
square sculptures did not have undercuts. The
reason for this was each mold is used to make
a series of editions of cast paper sculptures
and single edition of the waxes for the final
bronze figure. In order to pull the cast paper
out of the mold it is important that the art design
in the mold not have undercuts or the cast paper
will hang-up on edges and tear apart. Yet when
wax quilt squares are made off the molds and worked
into the quilts borders of the sculptures they
look much better with undercutting. To allow each
mold to have two functions it was decided to put
the work and effort into undercuts only on the
final casting waxes that would be working into
Will Andras called again
on Friday afternoon to go over fundraising activities,
getting some other school involvement in the Helping
Hands Campaign and timeline and funding needs
for keeping the working going on the second Monument
Michael putting an acrylic patina
on cast paper for Child Abuse Monument patron Gordon
square cast paper quilts are used for fundraising
O'Puck cleaning up a wax quilt
border just prior to silicone mold lay ups.
Michael finishing off a plaster
Plaster mother molds are removed
from the silicone rubber molds.
The silicone rubber mold is demoulded
from the wax six panel quilt.
Imperfections in the silicone
rubber molds are trimmed and buffed out.
Dr. Irving wearing jewelers magnifying lenses to
enhance the quality of working with fine details
in cleaning up the wax quilt squares.
Activities and Events Over
the Week of March 19 to 25, 2006:
O'Puck, Richard and Dr. Irving
cleaned up the quilt borders and made silicone
rubber molds of the last quilt squares for the
first Monument figure. This was a valuable volunteer
contribution by Richard.
Sunday Dr. Irving poured
a wax quilt square of one of the survivors from
Maple Leaf Gardens and sculpted in the undercuts
and cleaned up the quilt square.
On Monday, March 20, Dr.
Irving did a presentation to the Ontario Wood
Carvers Association OWCA
about the need for volunteers for carving undercuts
in the quilt squares. A number of OWCA members
stated they would come by on Saturdays over the
months of April, May and June. We look forward
to their contributions.
Several times over the week
Bruce from BLP Bronze and Dr. Irving went over
details and issues for the casting process for
the arms, shoulders and head.
Friday Dr. Irving poured
five wax quilt squares for the volunteer team.
On Saturday, March 25, Barb,
Don and Stephen stopped by and we did undercutting
and clean up on five quilt squares. Their volunteer
efforts are greatly appreciated.
In the evenings over the
week and on Saturday morning Dr. Irving sculpted
on two figures for my "Studies in a Form"
series and Dr. Irving was able to prepare two
of my sculptures from the "Embryo Show"
series for casting in bronze.
On Saturday, Sunday and Monday of March
18, 19 and 20 Dr. Irving sculpted two commissions
of a logo and an Ocean and Sailboat scene for BLP
Bronze. Dr. Irving worked on the chasing, grinding
and polishing of those pieces after the casting process
for parts of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Quilt square from Maple Leaf
Gardens abuse survivor.
is our pleasure to invite Member of OWCA, Ontario
Wood Carvers Association to participate in the final
stages of the Monument.
Michael C. Irving, Ph.D. Commissions
for BLP Bronze
is the Estimated Completion Time of the Monument?
We are expecting to have the
first Monument figure was completed in September of
The second figure can not be
estimated for a completion date until final confirmation
of the site and funds are raised for recasting this
previous damaged figure.
are the Unveiling Plans?
We are holding off on plans for
publicly displaying or unveiling a completed Monument
or single Monument figure until we are further along
in the welding and assembly process. In the fall of
2012 we we likely be able to make more clear decisions
on post completion activities for the first Child
Abuse Monument figure.
Do return occasionally to
this section to see updates of where we are at.
You can help by collecting and
sending HandPrints for placement inside the Child
Abuse Monument figures. To read more about the "Helping
Hands" Campaign go to the "Helping
Hand" web page.