Thursday, 28 November 2013

First cast revealed

Today I removed the first of the casts from its mould. The colours are vibrant and it fits well into the bookshelf, which is pleasing. I had applied gaffa tape to one of the surfaces of the mould but the texture is very feint. The other surfaces of the cast that were against the contiboard are incredibly smooth and flat. Although I had originally wanted a textured surface to the casts, on reflection, I have decided that the smooth contiboard surface is ideal as there is already a lot going on within the work in terms of colour and composition, and another element may be too much.

After removing the cast from the mould, I continued to mix more coloured plaster, and pour more layers into the moulds that I began filling yesterday.

Casting commences at 1 Royal Terrace

The second half of my mammoth plaster delivery arrived at 1 Royal Terrace, and I began my first batch of casting.

I met with Petter and Ruth from the Royal Terrace committee, and we had a good discussion about deadlines for images, copy the press release and so on. We also talked about options for the in conversation event, and confirmed that it will take place on Sunday 19th January. More details will follow in due course.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Today was my first proper day of using the gallery as a studio. I began by sorting out the materials and equipment that I moved at the weekend from my studio into the space. While waiting for the first of my two deliveries of plaster, I taped up some of the moulds that I will be using to cast the bookshelves. I want there to be an interesting texture on the surface of the cast, and so covered the contiboard panel that will become the outward facing surface, with textured tape.

I was lucky enough to get some help lifting the three 25kg bags of plaster up to the second floor - phew! I am expecting the rest of my order tomorrow, so decided to wait until all the plaster has arrived before beginning casting.

I am fascinated by the gallery flooring; the texture and pattern of the parquet tiles. I made some rubbings of the floor.


Bookshelf collages

I've been thinking about making a site specific artwork in the bookshelves at 1 Royal Terrace, and have been brainstorming a few ideas around filling the shelves with colour.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Moving into 1 Royal Terrace!

Yesterday I placed a large order with Special Plasters for materials I will be using to make the work I am installing at 1 Royal Terrace in my forthcoming solo exhibition.

I am fortunate enough to be able to spend the next few weeks in the gallery in the run up to the exhibition. This will allow me to make the work in situ, and therefore reduce the risk of damage to the artwork in transit. I gathered together the equipment and belongings in my studio that I will be needing for making the work at 1 Royal Terrace.

Ruth and I then took at trip to B&Q to purchase some more materials. I bought a large sheet of tarpourlin to cover the floor so I don't damage the tiles flooring when casting.

We then packed the car with the belongings from my studio and took them to the gallery, my new studio home for the next few weeks. I've left the 'clean' stuff in my normal studio so I will be doing my drawing etc there, and keeping Royal Terrace as a place predominantly for casting.

I'm looking forward to the plaster delivery arriving so casting can commence!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Work delivered to the RGI

As a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute, I was invited to submit a 'postcard' size work for the RGI Winter exhibition.

Today I delivered my work for the exhibition; an ink and pastel drawing titled "Archive a'.

PREVIEW: Saturday 30 November, 2pm – 4pm. ALL WELCOME 

A fine selection of small ‘postcard’ size works and small framed works by RGIs, RGI artist members and invited artists.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Outcome of my bubblewrap casting experiments

Today I removed the casts from the various moulds that I had covered in bubblewrap. This is how they turned out:

These were from the mould covered in bubblewrap with large bubbles.

These were from the mould that was covered in bubblewrap with small bubbles.

The cast below was from a mould that had been covered in large-bubble bubblewrap and then a layer of parcel tape.

I was surprised by how easy the cast could be removed from the bubblewrap. The bubblewrap texture is fairly distinct, but I am not happy with the rough edges.

I think that the cast above looks unconsidered and messy, as there is no defined pattern.

All of the casts above were made from layers of different coloured plaster. The test piece above shows one of the colour combinations used. I think these colours work really well together, so will use this again.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Testing casting ideas

At the moment I am testing some ideas I have for work for my solo exhibition at 1 Royal Terrace in January 2014. I want to develop the work that I exhibited in Motherwell, working on a larger scale. I am currently testing different surface textures, and have made a number of moulds with bubble wrap.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Exciting exhibition announcement

I am delighted to have been selected to be the first artist to exhibit at a new gallery in Glasgow - 1 Royal Terrace.

The gallery launched today, and published the programme for the first 6 months of 2014.

Over the last month I have been developing ideas for my solo exhibition, and have begun making test pieces in the studio.

When I first visited the beautiful gallery space I was immediately attracted to one  specific feature in the room, and will be creating a site specific installation. 

Watch this space for more news about 1 Royal Terrace.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Review of 'Studio Project' exhibition written by Kat Hayes and published by DEADBIRD Review

Helen Shaddock – Breaking The Mould


Artwork by Helen Shaddock, a Glasgow-based maker refusing to be categorised.
Review by Kat Hayes

Links – Helen Shaddock / Glasgow International Artists Bookfair

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter; an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.”
Henri Matisse, Paris, 1908
Helen Shaddock’s work on first encounter is, rather thrillingly what I’d imagine it’d be like to wander into a (admittedly oversized) child’s playpen. Solid blocks of colourful abstracted shapes are dotted around like beautiful building bricks strewn around by the errant hands of a toddler.


Shaddock’s work seeks an immediate familiarity with the audience through its playful simplicity. Each piece has a tactile quality, from the bright colour scheme to the rounded and squared off geometric form. The bright colours do as much to suggest childhood toys and games as do the shapes.

Stemming from both a curiosity and attraction to colour, stripes, and patterns, both natural and man-made, the work is pitched in an ambiguous area between painting and the three-dimensional. Layers of colour are used to create sculptural forms via an intricate casting process.

Shaddock’s motivations include the desire to blur the boundaries between 2D and 3D and to reject the “human need to organise and categorise”. She does this by producing work that defies this categorisation; it is neither what one would necessarily consider painting, nor is it purely sculpture.

Shaddock’s intention is to force us to question how necessary it is to classify, in the artist’s words, “sculpture as sculpture or painting as paintings”.  This rejection of formal boundaries allows the work to escape the ties of a particular medium, which Shaddock says she finds ‘unoriginal’, especially in the context of galleries that link unrelated work together via medium alone. This rejection of traditional values makes it difficult to pigeonhole her practice as either sculptor or painter. Shaddock clearly finds a lack of classification liberating:

“[I enjoy] not being restricted to one medium as working in a variety of media as gives me the flexibility to realise different ideas in different ways. I feel that it keeps my work evolving as I am not tied to one way of doing things.”


Interestingly, despite Shaddock’s rejection of over-simplified classification, she regards her work  as ‘an enquiry into order and chaos’. Put simply, it can be seen a metaphor for the world in which we live, where one can so easily be overwhelmed by the mass of information that bombards us on a daily basis.

Her interest lies in the way that the mind processes this mass of data into a semblance of order. The playful lines of colour could be said to represent Shaddock’s “desire to focus on the positive aspects of life, remain optimistic about the future, and remind others of the joy that the simplest of things can bring”.

The physical process involved in the making of Shaddock’s pieces is a laborious task: methodically preparing the shaped moulds; making them waterproof; mixing unique (non-factory) colours in the plaster pigment; adding the polymer. It is ritualistic and points towards a preoccupation with process. Regarding her cone-like structures, the preparation is not where the process stops, as the mould needs to be constantly shifted to allow the plaster to cover the entirety in layers of distinct colours. This then needs to be repeated for subsequent colours, which can be numerous.

Despite this methodical preparation, the artist states that she “fully embraces the uncontrollable outcomes” of this highly structured casting process: “I try not to control the pouring of the plaster too much. I like the unexpected elements [of each piece]; the dripping, the merging of colours and the splashes”. She admits that, when working on multiple casts, she often loses track of the order of colours that have been used in each mould.  However, this is a consequence she enjoys, as it creates an air of excitement when the mould is opened and the colours emerge.

Shaddock’s work is playful and touches upon a great swathe of styles and influences. Look once and you see familiar but abstracted shapes common in modernist architecture (see the lately refurbished cubed colour scheme of Park Hill in Sheffield or the bold aesthetics of the Golden Lane Estate in London). Equally, you could look again, and see echoes of Kitsch, Pop Art and perhaps a whisper of Vorticism.


Helen Shaddock graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2008 and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in a number of public and private collections.
She  was selected for a residency at Market Gallery, Glasgow in March 2013, which culminated in Studio Project, a solo exhibition of selected work produced during the residency. Other solo exhibitions include Strength in numbers at The Briggait, Glasgow (2011); Coloured Matter, Here Gally, Bristol (2011); Schema, Che Camille, Glasgow (2010). She currently has a solo exhibition titled  Groovings, at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall (until October 30th 2013).

Helen is also a co-founder of Glasgow International Artists’ Bookfair.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

South Block Wins Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award

I was pleased to read that South Block, the building that is home to my studio, has won the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

Nord architecture, the practice that redeveloped the building were awarded the gold medal at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 7th November by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop. She said: "The winning scheme is a tremendous and inspiring focus for creativity and innovation and, like previous winners of the award, it is a building of which Scotland can be proud."

Wasps Chief Executive David Cook said: “South Block is now 100% occupied, a great achievement in this economic climate, and we have received fantastic feedback from the creative community. The new venue is also making a huge contribution to the regeneration of the Merchant City.”

Judges stated: "Nord has crafted and choreographed the renovation of this existing building with extraordinary rigour, With great sensitivity and the slimmest of budgets, the architects have produced a specific environment for creative industries. Normally office buildings speak of generic environments. Here, within a tailored set of spaces, interaction and the promise of collaboration is easy to imagine."

South Block was chosen from a shortlist of 12 other projects around Scotland.
The project provides an exciting mix of low-cost studio space for fine artists and craftspeople, plus offices for social enterprises.  High-quality office space is also occupied by commercial businesses from Scotland’s vibrant creative industries.

This project was different for us because the money raised by renting space to commercial businesses is used by Wasps to reduce the rents for artists and arts organisation enterprises to around half the market rate.  This can make all the difference to arts and crafts practitioners who would otherwise be unable to afford the spaces they need.

South Block received support from:
Creative Scotland
Social Investment Scotland
Scottish Enterprise
European Regeneration Development Fund
Glasgow City Heritage Trust
Glasgow Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative
Glasgow City Council
And loan finance from Triodos Bank.

Scotsman: Glasgow Tenement Scoops Building of the Year Award
BBC Scotland: South Block in Glasgow Wins Best Building Award

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Generation Programme details released

The first programme details for a landmark series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland have been revealed today.
(photo: Rob McDougall)
GENERATION will bring an ambitious and extensive programme of works of art by over 100 artists to over 60 galleries, exhibition spaces and venues the length and breadth of the nation between March – November 2014, with the majority of exhibitions taking place over the summer of 2014, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

GENERATION has been in the making since 2011. The programme will continue to grow in the coming months, and featured artists announced today include Charles Avery, Sara Barker, Karla Black, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Roddy Buchanan, Steven Campbell, Duncan Campbell, Katy Dove, Graham Fagen, Moyna Flannigan, Douglas Gordon, Ilana Halperin, Charlie Hammond, Iain Hetherington, Louise Hopkins, Callum Innes, Jim Lambie, Lorna Macintyre, Sophie Macpherson, Alan Michael, Rosalind Nashashibi, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips, Alex Pollard, Charlotte Prodger, Mary Redmond, John Shankie, David Shrigley, Ross Sinclair, Simon Starling, Clare Stephenson, Corin Sworn, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Cara Tolmie, Sue Tompkins, Hayley Tompkins,  Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich, Alison Watt, Cathy Wilkes, Richard Wright and many more.
GENERATION is being delivered through a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, and is supported by Creative Scotland. These partners have engaged with a range of associate partners, venues and arts organisations across the country to ensure a truly national reach for the project. The programme aims to shine a spotlight on the past 25 years - a period which has seen Scotland develop an international reputation as a distinguished centre for contemporary art, produce a disproportionate amount of award-winning artists, host a number of ground-breaking exhibitions and foster an infrastructure which has helped allow contemporary art to flourish.
GENERATION is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, which is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland. Generation has ambitious goals to raise the profile of contemporary art in Scotland and to increase access and participation. It is being produced with the assistance and expertise of partners including VisitScotland and EventScotland, British Council Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland, Education Scotland, Young Scot, Children in Scotland and the BBC.
The scale, ambition and geographical reach of GENERATION make it the first project of its kind. It will be one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever held by a single nation, and aims to reach and build new audiences for contemporary art. The venues involved in the project have programmed their own exhibitions, working with Associate Curator Katrina Brown and a specially convened Curatorial Board comprised of representatives of the partner organisations, to ensure that all the exhibitions share the aspirations of the project.
One central aim of the project is to engage with a new generation and bring to life the possibilities that contemporary visual art presents to young people between the ages of 12 and 25 with an extensive education and outreach programme specifically devised to fuel their imagination and increase their participation. The programme for children and young people is still in development and more details will be announced over the coming months.
The wide-ranging programme will highlight the cultural significance of key moments and works from the past 25 years, featuring seminal pieces from landmark exhibitions and bringing significant works to new audiences in galleries and exhibition spaces across the nation.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will host a two-part exhibition across the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One, which will bring together historically significant works from the past 25 years and show them in parallel with new work by both established and emerging artists. Steven Campbell’s landmark On Form & Fiction exhibition, a memorable part of the Third Eye Centre’s programme for Glasgow 1990 which saw the artist cover all the available wall space with a remarkable range of work, will be recreated in the Scottish National Gallery as part of GENERATION. Also being shown in Edinburgh for the first time at Scottish National Gallery will be Martin Boyce’s 2002 Tramway show Our Love is Like the Flowers, the Rain, the Sea and the Hours.
Among the four solo shows being staged at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art are two celebrated works which have been shown to great acclaim in Edinburgh, but never before in Glasgow: Douglas Gordon’s Pretty Much Every Film and Video Work from about 1992 until Now (a comprehensive collection of Gordon’s work in film and video, including some of his most celebrated installations such as Play Dead; Real Time, Feature Film, 24 Hour Psycho and 30 Seconds Text) and Nathan Coley’s The Lamp of Sacrifice, 286 Places of Worship a scale model in cardboard of every ‘Place of Worship’ listed in the 2004 edition of the Edinburgh Yellow Pages telephone directory.
Collective Gallery will mark the 20 year anniversary of Ross Sinclair’s Real Life projects, whilst The Fruitmarket Gallery will trace the development of Jim Lambie’s practice, from the sculptures with which he first came to public attention in the early 1990s, to his signature floor work ZOBOP (1999), to Ultra Low through to new work, specially made for the solo exhibition.
Elsewhere in the programme, Paisley Art Gallery & Museum will revisit Informationthe significantexhibition staged in 1989 in the Museum by a group of then-emerging artists from Glasgow School of Art including Roddy Buchanan and Jackie Donachie – with a show of work by current Glasgow School of Art MLitt students, who have been invited to respond to the theme of “Information” within the particular context of Paisley Museum.

Although there is an emphasis on existing works, GENERATION will highlight the continued relevance of visual art at local, national and international levels through a number of new works and commissions. Artists exhibiting new works include Claire Barclay, Alex Dordoy, Ciara Philips, Karla Black, Dalziel + Scullion, Alex Frost who is creating a new work for Cove Park’s 50-acre rural site overlooking Loch Long, Mary Redmond, Lorna Macintyre, Sara Barker and Moyna Flannigan.
In line with its international reputation for commissioning, producing and presenting contemporary art, Tramway will present a programme of new works by an array of leading artists including Sophie MacPherson, Charlotte Prodger, Clare Stephenson, Cara Tolmie, Sue Tompkins, Cathy Wilkes, Alan Michael, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Charlie Hammond, Iain Hetherington and Alex Pollard.

GENERATION will see exhibitions taking place the length and breadth of the country. Participating venues include The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney, which will present a major exhibition of work by Zoë Walker & Neil Bromwich spanning more than 15 years of their practice. Caithness Horizons in Thurso will show the work of Douglas Gordon for the first time in the north of Scotland, whilst a specially curated exhibition of work by Toby Paterson will tour to venues in Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Peebles and Dumfries. Another touring exhibition will be the Travelling Gallery, which will see the work of a group of artists at varying stages of their career and working in a range of media (including Hanna Tuulikki, Craig Coulthard and Laura Aldridge) shown throughout Scotland.
Dalziel + Scullion’s installation Tumadh : Immersionwill be staged in two parts in An Lanntair in Stornoway and Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, whilst venues East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway will present works by some of Scotland’s major contributors to the development of contemporary art in the last 25 years as part of the South By South West (SXSW) partnership.
The GENERATION programme also features an array of works produced in Scotland over the past 25 years - many of which have won prestigious international prizes, or have been shown at renowned museums and galleries or festivals across the world - but which have never been shown before in Scotland, offering audiences the opportunity to see them for the very first time.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Gallery will show Simon Starling’s Burn Timeand Graham Fagen’s Peek-A-Jobby and a sculptural installation by Christine Borland, all of which have never been seen in Scotland before.
The Common Guild will host three consecutive solo exhibitions by Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell and Hayley Tompkins, the artists presented by The Common Guild exhibition Scotland + Venice 2013, a Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, which received international acclaim.
GENERATION will highlight the work of artists and the distinctive infrastructure in place in Scotland that has supported the development of contemporary art over the past 25 years. Support from Creative Scotland (and formerly the Scottish Arts Council) has enabled a range of initiatives and facilities to thrive – from grass-roots and artist run initiatives such as Transmission Gallery (a model which has been adapted the world over) through to production facilities and artists’ studios to major museums and art centres. In the spirit of such artist-led initiatives, Cooper Gallery in Dundee will host Studio Jamming: Artists’ Collaborations in Scotland – the first discursive survey to foreground the grassroots character of artists’ collaboration. Dundee Contemporary Arts will present Continue Without Losing Consciousness - three solo exhibitions by Rob Churm, Raydale Dower and Tony Swain. They’ll reference the artists’ collaboration for the 2010 Glasgow International Festival - Le Drapeau Noir - which was a temporary artists café held at The Old Hairdressers, and will develop their original concept into three new projects built around a core installation and featuring events, concerts and intervention.
Patricia Fleming Projects will celebrate the DIY and lo-fi approach instrumental to the rise of artist-led activity in Glasgow with DISCORDIA, which will feature performance, live music and limited edition t-shirts by twenty contemporary artists involved with Patricia Fleming Projects from the early 90s to the present.
City Art Centre’s Urban/Suburban exhibition is based on work acquired through the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland, the Scottish Arts Council initiative founded to support the sustained development of collections of contemporary visual arts by Scotland’s museums and galleries. Featured artists include Chad McCail and Carol Rhodes.
Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “There is an amazing story to tell about art in Scotland over the past 25 years and we believe that we have found a very compelling way to tell it with what surely must be one of the most ambitious programmes of exhibitions ever mounted by a single country. With over 60 free shows across the entire country, this is a massive opportunity for both residents and visitors to experience world-class contemporary art from Scotland.”

Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life
, said: “This is a groundbreaking partnership between Glasgow Life and the National Galleries of Scotland, which will allow us to share our outstanding collections, resources and knowledge. GENERATION presents a unique opportunity to galvanize a new audience for the artists and artworks that have propelled both Glasgow and Scotland’s contemporary art onto a global stage.
“Now is the time to tell the story of how Glasgow and Scotland has nurtured such incredible talent and to ensure that communities from Orkney to the Borders can share in what promises to be an amazing show.”
Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Life and venues across Scotland to deliver GENERATION, which celebrates 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. It provides a unique opportunity to reach more people in more places with the art and ideas of our time.  We are particularly excited to be engaging with children and young people. GENERATION features work made in their lifetime.  We hope experiencing these extraordinary exhibitions will inspire and fuel their imagination as they journey through their own lives."
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: ”The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme offers a wealth of opportunities for people right across Scotland to get involved in a number of truly inspiring cultural activities, connecting people and communities to the Games, and encouraging them to celebrate culture in new and surprising ways.
“As part of the Cultural Programme, GENERATION is an exciting opportunity to enjoy, celebrate, and learn about our nation’s rich recent history of achievement and excellence in contemporary art.
“The sheer scale and ambition of this project is testament to the large number of talented artists that Scotland has produced over the last quarter of a century.
“I’m pleased that along with once-in-a-lifetime exhibitions there is also a strong focus on engaging and inspiring our young people. I’m positive that the creative legacy of GENERATION will be felt not only across the country but down the years for a long time to come.”
For further information on GENERATION visit: and use #GENERATION on Twitter.

Notes to editors
1. GENERATION will feature work by artists who came to attention working in Scotland between 1989 and 2014 and include work by artists born in Scotland, as well artists of other nationalities who studied and live or lived in Scotland.
2. A specially convened Curatorial Board comprised of representatives of the partner organisations along with an Associate Curator, Katrina Brown, has formed the overall shape of the project, its specific manifestation across the partner organisations’ venues and the extension of the programme nation-wide to include many other galleries and organisations across Scotland.
GENERATION, Curatorial Board:
Simon Groom, Director, SNGMA
Sarah Munro, Head of Arts, Glasgow Life
Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager, Creative Scotland
Katrina Brown, Associate Curator for GENERATION
Keith Hartley, Chief Curator & Deputy Director, SNGMA
Victoria Hollows, Contemporary Arts & Museums Manager, GoMA
Lucy Askew, Senior Curator, SNGMA
Working with Jenny Crowe, Project Manager for GENERATION
3.   This is the first ever such national project in Scotland.
Previous exhibitions in Scotland that have offered a view of the contemporary art of their time have included:
The Vigorous Imagination: New Scottish Art’
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 1987
New Art in Scotland’
CCA, 1994
‘Here + Now: Scottish Art 1990-2001’
Dundee Contemporary Arts
McManus Galleries and Generator Projects, Dundee
Aberdeen Art Gallery and Peacock Printmakers, Aberdeen
4. Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.
5. The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme launched in July 2013 and is a national celebration with two strands: Culture 2014 and Festival 2014.
Culture 2014 is an unprecedented national programme of extraordinary new work by world-leading and emerging Scottish and international artists. It will be intimate and epic, intense and life-affirming. Stories will be told of individual lives and communities, special places and moments in time. These come together in one programme, creating a journey throughout Scotland that frames and celebrates the Games.
Festival 2014 is a massive Games-time celebration in Glasgow running alongside the sporting action, transforming the city from 19 July to 3 August with an invigorating mix of entertainment, culture and enjoyment filling the streets, spaces and stages of Glasgow.
The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is an opportunity for the whole of Scotland to get involved in the Games. From grassroots celebrations to large scale projects: the aim is for every community in Glasgow and Scotland to celebrate and benefit from this historic event.
The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme is a partnership between the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland.

New batch of moulds for casting

I've been making a number of new moulds with different surface patterns and textures.

I enjoy working with mundane materials, and for these tests I have made the moulds from cardboard. I like the subtle texture of the corregated cardboard, and at this experimental stage, cardboard is a cost-effective material to use.

I have made the moulds larger than any of the other square forms I have produced.

The mould below is a larger version of the moulds used for the Groovings exhibition; corregated cardboard covered in parcel tape.

The mould below has sides that are different to those ever used before. I made the sides by building up strips of cardboard and then taping them together. I then attached the sides to the square back. I am hoping that the layers of corregated cardboard are visible at the edges of the form.

To make the mould below I wrapped  the sheet of cardboard in bubblewrap, with the poppers towards the outside, so as to imprint on the parcel tape.                                                                                                                                                                        

The mould below was covered in bubble wrap with large bubbles. The bubbles are facing towards the inside of the mould, with the intention being that the imprint will be on the surface of the cast.

The mould below was covered in bubble wrap with small bubbles, in just the same way as the one above.

I poured the first layer of plaster in the moulds, as below.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Plaster Casting workshops at St David's and St Patrick's Primary schools

Last month I spent a couple of days in 2 different Primary Schools doing plaster casting workshops with the pupils. The workshops formed part of North Lanarkshire's Cultural Festival, Encounters. They were developed to coincide with my exhibition at Motherwell Theatre and Concert Hall.

The children were great to work with, full of ideas, enthusiasm and were very well behaved. At the end of each day we had a group discussion about the work they had made, what they had learned, what ideas they now would like to pursue and so on. Everyone had enjoyed the activities and had done something they had never done before. I felt a real sense of achievement knowing that it had been such a positive experience for them, and I was really proud of the work they made.

At the beginning of the day I talked to the groups about the process of casting, and showed them examples of other artists who make work by casting.

Pupils made their moulds using cardboard covered in parcel tape, and then created a boundary with clay and poured the coloured plaster into the shape.

Everyone was eager to get their hands in the mixing bowl!

They watched attentively as I showed them how to do each stage of the process.

I hope that I get the opportunity to do more workshops of this kind, and so please do get in touch if you are interested.