Posts Tagged 'sculpture'



Make This: Adventures in Casting

Jean Arp, "Star in a Dream (Astre en Reve)", 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Jean Arp, Star in a Dream (Astre en Reve), 1958, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, (c) Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

In talking with teens about what they’d like to do for upcoming classes, casting was a popular idea that I loved but had no idea how to execute. A metals casting class (see Star in a Dream, above) would be fantastic yet totally unfeasible, so I looked for alternative materials and methods that we could try. Over the past several months, I’ve been researching different techniques to meet the following needs: the project to be cost effective (i.e. cheap); the mold had to set within 45 minutes; the process had to be uncomplicated; and the results had to be pretty cool.

I finally settled on a pretty easy way of making silicone molds from inexpensive, household materials. There are many great online tutorials on how to do this, but I chose to adapt this one. Unfortunately, this silicone mold isn’t pourable, but it sets fast and is really easy to make. Alternatively, you could easily use a self-setting rubber medium like Sugru to make the mold if you’re not concerned about set time. I’m using Mod Melts as the casting material for this project to make things easier, but you could experiment with other things like resin, etc. As with any project, make sure your work area is well-ventilated and observe the safety precautions on the material labels.

What you need (this should yield 1-2 small, 2″-4″ castings):

  • Tube of 100% silicone caulk and caulk gun (VERY important that it’s 100% silicone)
  • Cornstarch
  • Latex gloves
  • Styrofoam cup
  • Disposable plastic tray
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mod Melts and hot glue gun
  • A small object to mold (you could make your own using modelling clay, etc.) that will fit into the Styrofoam cup

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Step 1:

Don your gloves and pour a generous amount of cornstarch along the bottom of your plastic tray. Cut the tip off of the tube of caulk and load it into the caulk gun.

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Step 2:

Squeeze the entire tube of caulk into the tray full of cornstarch. Begin incorporating the cornstarch into the caulk until it starts to form a loose ball. I used two pieces of scrap cardboard to toss everything together until it became a paste, then used my hands. Add more cornstarch as needed. I ended up using about 12 oz. of cornstarch.

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Step 3:

Continue kneading cornstarch into the silicone ball until it reaches a putty-like consistency and is no longer sticky to the touch.

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Step 4: 

Press the silicone firmly around your object to make your mold. For best results, use an object with a simple shape that doesn’t have a lot of holes where the silicone could get trapped. Press the mold with the object inside into the Styrofoam cup and leave it to set. (Notice that I’ve left a small hole at the top of the mold where I will pour in the Mod Melts.) I had enough material to cast my object and to make a small, secondary mold.

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Step 5: 

Check the mold after about 45 minutes–if it has completely set, you should be able to slide it out of the cup. Gently remove the object, taking care not to tear the mold. (You may need to carefully cut the silicone to make a two-part mold in order to do this.) You can see in my bigger mold some sections where I ran into trouble with air bubbles. To avoid that next time, I will have to press more firmly into those sections and give my mold a little more time to set.

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Step 6:

Spray the inside of your mold with non-stick spray (optional) and put it back in the Styrofoam cup. Heat your glue gun and load it with the Mod Podge Melts. For the sake of time, I will only cast the smaller mold that I made but I’ll post images of the larger cast on our Flickr page!

Step 7:

When hot, squeeze the Mod Melts into the mold. Once you’ve filled it, give the mold a gentle tap to help any air bubbles settle. Leave it to set.

Once your casting is cool, take it out of the mold. Your results may vary, but don’t worry–if the mold is still intact, you could reuse it to make another casting. And the nice thing about Mod Melts is that afterwards, you can paint your project or draw on it with Sharpie markers, etc.

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If you know of an interested teen, have them check out our March Urban Armor workshop–we’ll be doing a similar activity but casting in plastic!

Make and be happy!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Public Art in Dallas

I have always been drawn to public works of art. Not only is public art accessible to all, but it also adds color, encourages discussion and reflection, and creates a unique voice for a city.

Being new to Dallas, I have enjoyed exploring the city and discovering its public art along the way. Not only do we have several examples here in the Dallas Arts District, there will also be a plethora of new works to view beginning this weekend! It would be impossible to include every example in a single blog post, but here are a few of my favorites so far:

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Leni Schwendinger, SpectraScape, 2009

Created by Leni Schwendinger in 2009, SpectraScape is an interactive work of art located in Main Street Garden. Spectrascape is composed of bands of light that respond to human activity and movement. The artwork welcomes visitors into the park and encourages play and curiosity.

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Deep Ellum Art Park

The Deep Ellum Art Park is filled with outdoor murals and sculptures that were created by dozens of local artists, including Frank Campagna, Tyson Summers, and Dan Colcer. The vibrant works of art add life to the gray, concrete pillars that make up Highway 75.

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Marta Pan, Floating Sculpture, 1973, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Collection.

Found in the reflecting pool outside of City Hall, Floating Sculpture is composed of two bright red spheres that spin and glide along the surface of the water. Created by sculptor Marta Pan in 1973, Floating Sculpture was originally displayed in New York’s Central Park before finding its home here in Dallas.

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Shepard Fairey, 331 Singleton Blvd, 2012

In 2012, muralist Shepard Fairey was invited by the Dallas Contemporary to create several murals in the West Dallas area. I love the bold design of Fairey’s murals and admire his vision of creating works of art that convey messages of peace and harmony.

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Miguel Covarrubias, Genesis, the Gift of Life, 1954, City of Dallas, Gift of Peter and Waldo Stewart and the Stewart Company, 1992

One of my favorite works of public art in Dallas is right here at the DMA! Every time I drive past the museum’s entrance, Genesis, the Gift of Life immediately catches my eye. The mosaic mural was created by artist Miguel Covarrubias and although it was originally commissioned for the city’s Stewart Building, it moved to its current location in 1990s.

Do you have a favorite work of public art here in Dallas? Go on your own art adventure and see what new works of public art you can find!

Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

Make This: Poured Paint Sculptures

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Studio Creations participants share their thoughts about Lynda Benglis’ work.

During Studio Creations this month, we looked at Lynda Benglis’ Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler), part of the special exhibition Difference?. There are many aspects of this work of art that make it fun to talk about with people, but what I find the most interesting is the way it challenges how we define painting and sculpture. To me, it really lives between the two! This idea provided the catalyst for our Studio Creations art making activity. During each workshop, visitors created poured paintings based on chance, which, when dry, could be peeled from the painting surface and made into something sculptural. Here’s a quick tutorial for creating the project at home with your family:

Supplies

  • Gloss medium or Liquitex pouring medium (available at most art supply stores)
  • Acrylic paint (I prefer gloss acrylics, but any type will work well)
  • Painting surface: A sheet of cardboard covered with heavy plastic (or something similar)
  • Squeeze bottles or cups for dispensing paint
  • Toothpicks for adding designs (optional)

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Plastic-covered painting surface, gloss medium, and acrylic paint in squeeze bottles

Steps

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Squeeze a small amount of gloss medium onto the painting surface. Using your squeeze bottles or cups, drop a little bit of paint into the medium. There’s no right or wrong way to do this so feel free to experiment! Try planning it out or putting the paint in randomly.

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Now try tilting your painting surface in different directions. The paint will start to run depending on the direction and angle that you tilt it. This is where the part about chance comes in–you only have a certain amount of control over the paint as it moves. Chance played a big role in the way that Lynda Benglis created Odalisque–she didn’t have any control over the paint after pouring it.

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Whenever you feel like it, add more paint. But be sure to drop it into the medium–otherwise, it could break off from the rest of the painting when dry. Continue adding paint and tilting the surface until your painting almost reaches the edge.

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When you are finished, let your painting dry for at least one day. If you added a lot of paint, it may need an extra day or two to fully dry. Afterwards, carefully peel the painting away from the painting surface–it should be plastic-like in consistency.

Now try making it into something sculptural! Your painting can easily be cut and molded. Some ideas that came up during Studio Creations were: a mask, a bowl, a mouse pad, a jacket, and a sun catcher, among others. If you’d like to share your creation with us, feel free to send an image to jbigornia@dma.org and I’ll post it on our Flickr page.

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Finished painting

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Almost sculptural, don’t you think?

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Detail of paint surface

Tips

  • Your painting does not have to look a certain way. Have fun and experiment!
  • For best results, I suggest using pouring medium instead of gloss medium. It’s a little bit more expensive, and it’s only made by Liquitex, but it was designed for projects just like this one and can prevent “crazing” in the paint. For super-duper results, mix a little bit of gloss or pouring medium into your paint before you start your project. One part medium to ten parts paint should be perfect. You can also try string medium!
  • You can get different designs by letting the paint run in one direction for a while and then turning it in another direction. This is really good for making swirls, circles, etc. You can use a toothpick to create fine lines as well.
  • The medium dries clear.
  • Lots of other cool poured paint projects can be found online!
  • Further questions? Feel free to shoot me an email!

JC Bigornia
C3 Program Coordinator

Five, Six, Seven, Eight

Chagall: Beyond Color opens on Sunday, February 17, and the highlight of the exhibition is sure to be the costumes designed by Chagall in 1942 for the production of the ballet Aleko. The ballet’s première took place in September 1942 in Mexico City, followed by the Ballet Theatre of New York production, and the costumes have not been seen in the U.S. since. Recently, DMA staff whipped out their jazz hands and did their best mannequin impersonations to assist in the installation of the Aleko costumes.

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Welcome to the Neighborhood!

It’s another gorgeous sunny day in November here in Dallas. This warm and temperate fall weather could not have been more perfect for the recent opening of the new Klyde Warren Park right across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art. Just two weeks ago, this new urban green space celebrated it’s grand opening with over fifty free programs and a whopping 44,000 excited visitors. The DMA also participated in the lively festivities, offering outdoor art-making workshops and even a re-enactment of the ancient Maya ballgame in connection with our exhibition The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico. The park continues to provide free daily programs, and has already become a populated community space beloved by the locals.

This 5.2 acre deck park features a children’s playground, a gated dog park, putting greens, ping-pong tables, a reading area, and plenty of open green grass to play or picnic on. With something for absolutely everyone, the park brings people together from all walks of life.

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If you’re taking advantage of this wonderful weather and want to explore some of the DMA’s outdoor spaces, we have a couple beautiful spots for you to check out as well. For a tranquil stroll surrounded by trees, waterfalls, and life size sculptures, I highly reccomend heading out to the Sculpture Garden: it’s the perfect place to find inspiration or relaxation.

The Fleischner Courtyard is another great outdoor space to enjoy some sun or shade.

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There are a few special areas of the museum where the archituecture allows for the exterior and interior space to interact, creating a sense of the natural world from the inside. One of my favorite such places is the Atrium Cafe, where colorful glass Chihuly flowers float in the frame of the floor-to-ceiling window. With the colors made vibrant by sunlight and romantic by moonlight, it’s a breath-taking sight at any time of the day.

The recent Karla Black installation titled Necessity seems to also create a similar relationship between man-made objects and nature. Cascading down from the ceiling in front of the glass doors to the Sculpture Garden, the cellophane of this large-scale sculpture catches the natural light and produces a sparkling, rippling effect much like a stream or waterfall. The holes in the sculpture and translucent material allow for glimpses of the trees and nature just beyond the doors of the artwork. While standing in the concourse it’s easy to feel as if you’re transported to an outdoor oasis.

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I hope you all enjoy this weather while it lasts- you now know where I go to soak up the sun!

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant

Artworks used:

  • Dale Chihuly, Hart Window, 1995, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Linda and Mitch Hart
  • Karla Black, Necessity, 2012, Courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London and Galerie Gisele Captain, Cologne

Seldom Scene: Karla Black at the DMA

Scottish artist Karla Black will open her first solo project at a U.S. museum this Friday at the DMA. For Karla Black: Concentrations 55, the artist has created two sculptures for the DMA’s Hoffman Gallery and South Concourse. See images from the installation process below, and meet Black and see her work at our Late Night this Friday. She will discuss her exhibition at 7:00 p.m. in the Hoffman Gallery.

Back to School: From the Classroom to the DMA Collection

Now that all the kiddos are settled back into school, I began to think about how the Museum‘s collection could inspire them to keep learning outside the classroom. With the most common school subjects in mind, I decided to find works of art that might help them with their studies. Check out my pairings below.

Math

Upon first glance, it’s hard to tell if this large scale sculpture is symmetrical or asymmetrical. It takes a careful walk all the way around the work of art to find out.

Untitled, Ellsworth Kelly, 1982-1983, Dallas Museum of Art, commission made possible through funds donated by Michael J. Collins and matching grants from The 500, Inc., and the 1982 Tiffany & Company benefit opening

History

An historical figure, period, or event is often the subject of a work of art. This particular work features all three. Some of the imagery in Skyway includes President Kennedy and images of space exploration. Overall, the haphazard, overlapping composition captures the tumultuous time of change in the Sixties. What else does this colorful collage tell you about the Sixties?

Skyway, Robert Rauschenberg, 1964, Dallas Museum of Art, The Roberta Coke Camp Fund, The 500, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Mark Shepherd, Jr. and General Acquisitions Fund

English

Some works of art are inspired by literature, like Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire. While it’s easy to find Cinderella in this beautiful work of art, it’s not as easy to tell which part of the Cinderella story is being depicted. Come to the Museum to get a closer look at all the details a photograph can’t capture, so you can guess which part of the classic fairy tale this could be. I’ll give you a big hint: there’s more than one right answer!

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire, Thomas Sully, 1843, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation

Geography

From the icy waters of the North Atlantic to the rolling hills of the French-Italian Riviera, wandering through the Museum galleries can take you on a trip around the world to a variety of climates and terrains. How many new places can you discover on your next visit?

The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt

Valle Buona, Near Bordighera, Claude Monet, 1884, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Homework

Hopefully these collection connections will make learning in the Museum more fun for you and the kiddos than studying is for this little boy:

The First Thorns of Knowledge (Les premières épines de la science), Hugues Merle, 1864, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Meadows Foundation Incorporated

Hannah Burney
Community Teaching Programs Assistant


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