Material Exploration – Material/Workshop Outcomes.


After a considerable amount of conceptual drawing and research into artists, I decided it was time to start visually experimenting and exploring with different materials. I wasn’t impressed with working with wire last year, but I decided to embrace it and try the material process again. I thought a wireframe work would be beneficial to my idea of the ‘skeletal’ hand I have been conceptually working on in my sketchbook, as it is bendy and flexible. I could also choose to leave it hollow or fill it out with other material, like an armature.

Using a PVA glue mixture and tissue paper, I began to fill out the wireframe. The form started to appear more fleshy, which I was quite pleased with, as I was working with the idea of the human body in mind.

Whilst I was playing around with the wire form, I thought it would look more gruesome / tortured if I crucified the hand with thicker wire, that looked more like barbed wire. I have been looking at the horrific world events of World War 1 and the Holocaust of World War 2 as inspiration for my project brief on ‘Cited‘. I hammered nails into  the block of wood, that the wireframe was mounted, on to add extra effect to the whole ideology of inhumanity.

I mixed red and green paint to form shades of darker reds, purples and off-colour reds. I began layering the PVA mixture with with one colour at a time, to begin with. I then began to dab purples into the already bright red, mixing in more purples, darker reds and even tinges of green to create the visual effect of an entrapped hand, that had been flayed.

My second material experimentation, I headed down to the plaster room with two Marigold gloves. The human hand was still the form I was experimenting with.

After mixing 250g of Plaster, with the help from Alexis, I began to pour the plaster mix into one of the Marigold gloves. I repeated the same process to complete the pair. I gently pressed into the fingertips of one glove, adding in more detail. On the other hand, there was a dip in the fingertip.

Once everything was washed and tidied up, I withdrew my plaster casts to head upstairs to my studio space. I let them set on my desk and after around 20 or so minutes, the plaster had set and the temperature was starting to rise. I had to cut the gloves off the plaster, to avoid anything catching fire – that was something I didn’t want to risk as it started to get hotter.

I was very pleased with these outcomes, as they looked effective and somewhat ‘severed’ from the rest of the body. I intend to work on these more this term, by gently sanding down the pattern on the inside of the fingertips from the Marigold gloves. And I will just generally be tidying them up before mounting them onto a block of wood.



Author: lawrenceaaronmaker

Studying a BA Hons in Artist, Designer; Maker at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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