Monday, October 9, 2017
Here is the entire dedication and unveiling of the sculpture that I created of John Turner and his dog. Watching this you will learn much about the man and all he has done. I was delighted that presenters read a a letter from George Bush. The letter talks about all that John has done in his life . Laura and George W. Bush thanked many for honoring this man including... "Bridgette Mongeon" (5:29) Thanks President Bush. John Milton Turner Statue Unveiling in Frisco,TX (June 4, 2017) from Brad Sharp on Vimeo.
Posted by isculpt at 5:59 PM
Saturday, May 27, 2017
|Thanks to Unified Fine Arts for taking such care with my work.|
On my second day of travel, the John Turner sculpture and I end our journey at Frisco Heritage Center. This is a charming place to visit with old buildings. I can't help look at the area and dream of benefactors that will let me create period bronzes with the faces of their loved ones that will enhance the visiting experience. I see bronze sculpture of children from history gathering in the school yard, or a boy and his dog playing on the porch of the old cabin. A family, in period costume, running to catch the train at the Frisco Depot or a black smith working in the blacksmith shop.
|Together Unified Fine Arts, Nouveau Construction and myself |
go over he plans for the installation.
|Sitting on the old the porch of the old log cabin, watching|
them unwrap and install the sculpture while I dream of
other bronze apparitions with the faces of benefactors family
members adorning these incredible old buildings.
We watched the prep of this at the foundry and on site in the previous post. Now, let's look at the rest of an installation. Together Unified Fine Arts, Nouveau Construction and myself go over he plans for the installation. I can't be at every install, as my schedule and the travel will not always permit me to be there. In those cases I have strong communication with my clients, delivery and installers. However, I'm delighted to have been able to be at the install of John Turner. The slab has been poured, cured and ready. After Unified Fine Arts carefully unwraps the sculpture we begin to look at placement. I'm thinking of many things when placing a sculpture. Some of these things I have taken into consideration all the way back when creating the sculpture in the studio. Design questions I ask myself are:
- In what direction is my subject looking?
- What are the elements surrounding the sculpture that may interfere with the visual design?
- How does the sculpture look when you are approaching it?
- Does the placement of the design look good in configuration with the slab?
- Where will people interact with the sculpture?
|My client and I look at many|
different options for the placement
of the plaque.
|Testing the placement of the plaque|
with the interaction of kids and
Once we have the placement of all of the visual elements I trace the places where the sculpture touches on the concrete with a pencil. Then the template is set in place and the holes are traced so the installers know where to drill. They drill holes into the concrete a bit wider than the threaded rods that I have provided.
|Once the sculpture is where we like it |
I trace around the feet of the sculpture.
|The men at Unified Fine Arts use my template to indicate|
where to drill the holes for the threaded rod.
Once the holes are cleaned out with an air compressor the installers prepare for a dry fit. They lift the sculpture and place the sculpture with the threaded rods extended out of the bronze, and place the piece into the holes. This is where a sledge hammer may come in handy. If the person drilling the holes did not drill them perpendicular to the slab then the rods will not fit in properly or if the foundry did not weld the nuts perfectly perpendicular then this will also be a a problem. The solution is to lift the sculpture out and either drill the holes more, or bang the rods into place with a sledge hammer.
|The rods are twisted into the nuts of the bronze and|
a dry fit ensures that we can move to epoxy.
Once the dry fit is complete the sculpture with its threaded rods is lifted out and then epoxy is put into the holes. Carefully the sculpture is set back into place. The epoxy will cure quickly and secure the sculpture.
Once complete, I walked around the park to see how the sculpture looks from all directions. I am more than pleased.
My work is done here. The sculpture is now covered with a cloth to prevent others from seeing it until the unveiling. I often like to attach a small note to the tarp saying what it is and when it will be unveiled. I think this is an invite for others and prevents curious eyes from being tempted to take the tarp off and look for themselves.
|Epoxy is put in each hole.|
|My client and I step back and admire our months or hard|
work and dedication.
I'll be back up here next weekend for the unveiling. I can't wait until John Turner sees the sculpture. I know you will ask, "How can he see it? he is blind." That is the thing about sculpture and 3D work, it is meant to be touched.
|I love the way John and his dog look from all directions.|
Posted by isculpt at 9:53 AM
|John and his dog are flying in|
the foundry of Miguel Macia
Plenty of time should be planned for installation. If you are trying to set up an unveiling of a sculpture it is best to plan weeks in advance for the installation. Installation and delivery can be stalled by weather. I have, at times, also had deliveries rerouted because of wildfires. Giving plenty of time for pouring and delivery is important.
Miguel Macia works carefully at his foundry. We have seen all of the work that has gone into the sculpture up to this point. It has its final patina and so great care is taken not to scratch the art.
First a pattern must be made.
Some installers may not need this, but I find it is nice to have.
Internal mounting structure
|There are nuts that are welded into the bottom portion|
of the sculpture.
|The cardboard template is made.|
|The threaded rods poke through|
Prep at the Site
Nouveau Construction created the concrete slab at the site. I sent them specifications as to how deep and wide the slab would need to be to accommodate the weight of John and his dog and to look aesthetically pleasing. Ideally I would have loved to see John on a continuous walkway, with the same look as the other walkways, instead of just on a pad. I really love it when my sculptures just blend in with their surroundings.
|I cut out portions of the template. you will see how this is|
important at installation.
- Extra patina, brushes and wax, just in case the sculpture is accidentally scratched.
- A torch to melt the wax
- All of the clients reference material
- A release form
- A form that describes the care of a bronze
- A sledge hammer. If someone else is installing the sculpture they might bring a sledge hammer. You will see the use of this at installation.
|Miguel Macias is my accomplice in this loading.|
we have used this engine hoist on more than
one occasion and it works great.
Miguel Macia does install the work, but on this job my client is responsible for installation.
|I tend to carry a lot of bodies in this van. Miguel said, "My|
dad taught me always tie down anything you are transporting."
John and his dog are secure.
If I were to transport John and his dog on a trailer he would not be covered. My art shipping company of choice is Acts Crating and Transportation. They ship all of my work, unless a foundry offers shipping at a better price. If a sculpture is shipped on an open bed the flapping of the tarps can sometimes rub off the patina. If he were on a trailer he would be on a very interesting walk from Houston to Frisco, Texas.
Author: Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Posted by isculpt at 7:57 AM
|going over everything and marking|
things that need attention
with a marker.
|Miguel heats up the bronze to|
apply the color
Finally it is patina day. To patina the sculpture Miguel heats up each area and applies different chemicals to cause the metal to have a chemical reaction. It is a long process and I often will stay the day, or morning while they are working on the piece. A final coat of wax is put on to protect the sculpture and we make arrangements to pic up John and his dog.
It has been a long journey to here but I'm thrilled with the end results.
|Heat, chemical and then finally wax to protect the surface.|
It is a long process.
Posted by isculpt at 6:59 AM
Monday, April 24, 2017
WAXES: In each rubber mold wax is poured or brushed. The wax is not solid but it is hollow. The pieces will be cast this way and put together in metal.
THE DIP: After the foundry makes the waxes they are dipped into a slurry mixture and coated with sand. This makes a ceramic shell both inside and out. This process is not captured on this blog.
THE POUR: The wax is burned out of the shell and molten bronze is poured into each of the pieces. This process is often referred to as the "lost wax method of bronze casting."
There is still much to do. Each shell must be broken off of the bronze, the metal is then cleaned and each of the pieces will be welded together.
It is a little horrific seeing John and the dog cast about and in pieces. The weld marks look horrible as well, but the foundry workers are artists and can blend each of the welds seamlessly. On April 27, I'll be headed to the foundry to "check the metal." I'll go over everything and circles any areas that I feel need attention.
PATINA: After approval the final step is the patina. Pictures soon to come.
Posted by isculpt at 8:26 PM
These last few weeks have been very busy, here in the studio and then at the foundry. You saw how we were cutting up John in various sections. Now it is time to make a mold. Each section has a seam, or seams. Then rubber is painted over the entire piece, section by section. After 4 layers of rubber, plaster has been added. This is all a part of the foundry process. The final rubber molds are cleaned and sent to the foundry.
Posted by isculpt at 8:09 PM
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Anyone unfamiliar with the bronze casting process pretty much freaks out when they see this part. We go to great lengths to get the sculpture prefect and then we have to cut it up all over again. How do I do that? With a reciprocating saw, knives and anything I can. The many pieces are seamed up using playing cards. Some things like the dog, I will cut apart later. We did the mold of the top of the dog, flipped him and this allowed me to add detail on his belly without standing on my head to do it. The mold making process is a long one. Usually t he foundry does this process, but here at B. Mongeon Sculpture Designs Studios we do it ourselves.
Posted by isculpt at 6:03 AM