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Work process: Revisioning and Auricle

2010 October 30
by Caroline

Debora Alanna – Artist

Summer 2010 – Edmonton, AB

Predicated on Joe Clare’s vision to utilize a stucco-like texture for this work, a search for the ‘right’ material brought us to the Durabond facility in Edmonton, where an amazing flexible cement construction application is distributed. In addition to finding the perfect sculptural substance, Jaromer Kaszewski, Edmonton’s Durabond manager heard my plan, and offered workspace to enable the production of Revisioning and Auricle. Jaromer consistently provided welcome professional technical advice throughout the entire project.

Beginning with a (approx.) 4’ x 4’ x 3’ block of Styrofoam™ for the 4 Auricle works, and a bundle of Styrofoam™ sheets to create individual, unique segments of Revisioning (7 masks), and armed with a QC Hot Knife™ tool, provided by Durabond to carve out the material, I began to first draw and then shape the extruded polystyrene foam.

The cutting and shaping of hundreds of mask parts took approximately 10 days of working 9.5 hrs a day, 5 hours on Saturdays. Carving of the 4 Auricle works, hewn from the solid block took several days.

After shaping the mask parts (Revisioning) and solid shapes for Auricle, I began wrapping each distinct part in sticky fibreglass mesh. This net would enable the first thin coat of Durabond Monobase™ to adhere, surface cement that would begin to build the durable surface to ensure weather resilience and stability.  Durabond’s expert technician, Pablo mixed dozens of pails of this coating to fortify the Styrofoam™.

The Durabond Monobaseâ„¢, although dry to the touch in a few hours, was ready for the second, thicker layer of this material around 24 hours after the application. Applied with a palate knife, this substantial layer required a uniform application would be paramount to create strength of each piece. The finished mask structure needed consistent application to prevent compromised joints.

Using the same application process on the Auricle sculptures, the only difference was the amount of the material needed to coat a substantial size increase of the Auricle work.  Each pail of Durabond Monobase™ had a 2-hour working window. Mixing larger pails of Monobase to use dealt with this size difference.

After 72 hrs of drying time, post application, the task of assembling the individual mask parts of Revisioning began with impaling each part with custom cut steel rods. After deciding on an exact location of the joints between pieces, a mesh square, as an intermediary bond reinforced the Durabond cement that would secure each integral shape. Pounding the steel rod through the 2nd thick coat application reinforced the joints.

Each distinctive shape of Revisioning mask parts had unique challenges in assembly. Not one piece was the same, uniform. Utilizing inventive assemblage techniques ensured the secure formation of each sculpture for exterior wall installation.

Assembled Revisioning masks and Auricle pieces required the final Durabond Brush Coat™, pigmented flexible cement. Applied with a brush, this waterproof application provides an impervious surface to weather Edmonton seasonal conditions.  Durabond’s expert, Pablo, mixed the brilliant custom colours for the topcoat.

Once the work was complete (6 weeks from first cut to last colour Brush Coat™ stroke) and transported to the installation site, Graham Burns of ANT bestowed the project with his talents as the installation technician extraordinaire. Hoisting each piece to the scaffold, multiple measurements made certain the 12” and 14” Durabond securing screws drilled through the surface of each Revisioning mask in discrete locations held fast to the wall.

The installation of Auricle required digging holes into the ground prior to drilling marble tableaus and inserting Rebarâ„¢ into the work that would hold each sculpture to the cement-secured stone.

This sculptural process for Revisioning and Auricle was made possible by Joe Clare’s amazing vision, his appreciated financial support, each cheerful, contributing team member at Durabond and especially the kind, generous support of Durabond’s Jaromer Kaszewski and his team (Pablo and John), as well as Graham Burns’ adeptness and humour. Thanks also to Ron Snider for his moral support and photographic documentation.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Jim Maxwell permalink
    November 5, 2010

    A great addition to the Edmonton [Strathearn] streetscape. Beautiful art and good energy. I was drawn in as I rode by on my scooter and had to stop. Nice to meet Joe and Debora.

  2. Erik Backstrom permalink
    November 7, 2010

    Thanks for all you are doing in the neighbourhood, Joe. You are beautifying and adding intrigue to Strathearn one project at a time.

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