Lapine’s Transformation

I was so honoured when I was selected to participate in this year’s Sculptex exhibition at Melrose Gallery in Melrose Arch, that I immediately jumped in the deep end and decided to make a really big bronze sculpture of Lapine (as you all know, my flaneuse avatar). It was the first time I worked this big, but the result was so satisfying!

I would like to share a little bit of the concept and process with you.

I have always been intrigued by paperfolding, and I am known for my origami bunnies. If you think about it, a blank piece of paper is the origin of most things – ideas, stories, music, and writings. It all starts with a single mark on paper. I love story telling, and every artwork I make has a story, a concept, a piece of my life philosophy, so this is how I use my piece of paper. I love the contrast of the fragility and ephemeral quality of the paper, against the timelessness and strength of the bronze. Every fold in the origami is a conscious decision we take in our lives that transforms us into something better. Expanding our horizons and breaking out of our limitations, giving us courage and wings to explore more.

Firstly, to make this sculpture, I had to enlarge the mini origami bunny to the bigger scale on a 3D printer (thanks Cor). From there, a silicon mould was made from where we could start casting wax moulds. It was such an intricate piece, that we had to cast it in different parts and stages. Once the wax sculpture was cast, I had to work it off smoothly, ensuring every line is crisp and visible, and has a paper feel. At this point I started making the birds out of clay, also getting moulds and wax casts for them.

The next step was to cast the waxes in bronze using the lost wax method. again, piece by piece, and after a successful casting, weld it all together (thanks Heinrich). After a nerve wracking and very complicated but successful casting and welding the pieces together, the assembly process started. Little by little each ring was shaped to form her dress. Then the dress and birds were all delicately assembled. Sidenote: at this stage I was completely beside myself with excitement, and so happy that everything came together so nicely. Even the day before, I was still not sure whether this would work or not! Finally, it is time to put the patina (colour) on the bunny and polish the birds.

I totally fell in love with her, but according to my partner I cannot keep EVERYTHING I make for myself…????

Anyway, she was delivered to the Melrose gallery where she will stand proud and happy between many other talented artists’ sculptures. Should you wish to view her in real life, please visit the gallery between 1 September – 31 October 2023.

PS : I am already working on my next big sculpture…. watch this space.

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