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  • Tony Lucas

Using multiple materials

It occurred to me a few months ago that I could perhaps cast my sculptures in a combination of materials. Up till now I have cast them primarily in a single medium - Marble, Bronze, Brass, pewter etc but I had never thought to do part in one medium and the rest in another. I also hadn't seen it in any one else's work either (I have found others now, which would have helped me think it through). My studio in Market Harborough provided me with everything I needed to try it out.

I used the sculpture "Mr Tumnus" as my experimental target. The first thing to do was to plan which parts of the sculpture I wanted to be in Marble and which in Bronze. It seemed fairly obvious that the face would look better in marble with the horns and the flowers in bronze, although the reverse might also look interesting. The cost of bronze was the decider. Much cheaper to use marble for the larger area. If it didn't work then I would have lost less money.

Next problem. How to go about it. Clearly the bronze part was needed first but how to do that without it getting on to the other areas. The horns were not a problem as they are pretty much self-contained but the leaves and grapes were a different kettle of fish. In the end, I did the horns and then let the bronze/resin mix sit for a minute before painting it into the required areas. Then it was slightly more sticky as it had started to set. Once the bronze has fully set, I filled the face with Marble resin and let that set.

The result was very pleasing. I then cut back the bronze areas with wire wool and polished the horns and aged the floral area.

Having mastered that, I am tempted to see if I could go to three mediums. Perhaps Brass for the horns, Bronze for the floral area and marble for the rest. Perhaps that is going too far and I need to sit in a quiet corner for a while.

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