Friday, May 2, 2014

Work In Progress #3

While gearing up for our annual tag sale, I came across a few lovely items my father in law cast in bronze years back. He was a sculptor professor at Stony Brook University and had access to an incredible foundry. He would take beautiful things from nature and cast them eternally in metal. He experimented with casting eggs, peanuts, crabs, rocks and even marijuana roots. Shhh.

For years he struggled to cast horseshoe crab shells. He would collect their shells after they had been stranded and sadly died along the shores of his Long Island home. Unfortunately, their dried out shells would trap sand and cause voids when casting. A few good samples made it and they are precious little treasures of a creature that originated over 450 million years ago! Yes I said 450 million.

He was recently cleaning out his studio and asked me if I wanted his horseshoe crab shell collection. Um…yeah! So I inherited his shells and this is what happened…

 This is just one of the crates that hold various sized shells.

The idea of these amazing creatures becoming extinct one day made me appreciate my father in law's attempts at casting them in metal. Since casting them proved problematic, I thought I would try to replicate the look and feel by using gold spray paint. I do love gold ya know.

Where is this going?
Since the shells are extremely delicate and crumble easy, I am experimenting with different ways to strengthen it before I apply the metallic paint. I am headed to Home Depot this weekend to grab some spray plastic, a cousin of Plasti-Dip. I am going to spray a variety of sizes and play with how to display them. I love the way they look hanging simply on the wall- but the question is: which side do you hang facing out? Once I perfect the method, I'll update this post and let you know where this is headed. They may be coming to a gallery near you...