sculpture - untitled 2009

Yes, a year in the making! How can it take that long to enshrine a tree root in a concrete arch?

  • Create a cardboard form;
  • cover it with a chicken-wire armature;
  • apply a  2 cm. layer of mortar mix concrete;
  • add a finishing coat white Portland cement;
  • polish it with a rotary sanding disk;
  • and add the centrepiece made of tree roots sanded smooth; ebonized with a mixture of vinegar and steel wool finished with three coats of clear water-based polyurethane.

I’ve been mulling this over — for a year — and then it was revealed to me last Sunday morning. An epiphany of sorts, while driving along a bleak section of Highway 407 with my wife on our regular pilgrimage to visit our mothers who living in nursing homes in east-central Ontario.

It was the piping of Joan Biaz singing “We Shall over Come” on CBC Radio 1, The Sunday Edition that evoked not only a deep wave nostalgia, but also a realization that it is in the “singing” that I take the greatest pleasure. I connect to my art through the process, so I’ve had a year of savouring the “singing” while making this piece — not bad.

Resources (added July 22, 2009):

Art Concrete: website by Owen Sound, Ontario artist Andrew Goss (opens in new window) – great how-to section with mixture recipes and gallery of work from various artists

The Creative Fire by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (opens in new window) – 3 CD set of poetry, storytelling and myth to fan the inner fire

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