Poppy (2016) //Weronika

Below you will find a lot of photos from the implementation of my diploma project. Initially, it was to be the whole figure of a woman immersed in floral composition and water. I prepared a model made of clay (up to 4 different proposals) followed by a plaster cast. I managed to glue the wooden form for the sculpture and start carving. However, in the process I realized that I do not want to make a character and I want to focus only on the floral composition. I abandoned the current concept and focused on flowers.

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First concept – Ofelia.

As in the previous article, I will focus on the technical elaboration of my experience.

At the beginning I will say that the birch charmed me with its white color. Contrasting with the pitch-black background it looked exactly as I dreamed. It is true that there were spots of knags which in the birch is completely natural, and for me it was not a problem.

Warning! If you plan to put your sculpture in a liquid, please don’t do it if you give up the impregnation. It was quite a stupid idea. Well, but man learns from mistakes. First, I made a very “wise” using water glue to connect the boards, as you can guess, the unprotected sculpture was taking water like crazy (that’s because it was supposed to be part of the work) and the glue started to dissolve. The second case, the wood absorbing water (and soaking really fast) only on one side got such tension that it just rolled up like a leaf 😀 So all my work is quite difficult, as you can see – it was an openwork form that has broken at some points.

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In addition, I recommend gluing wood from boards with the length of your work, not like me from pieces. Because I did not know what was going to be, a part of the wood glued and I thought it was going to be flowers, I eventually turned into stalks. As a result, the gluing spots are visible and not entirely aesthetic, and in addition, the wood was breaking and dropping out all the time. I could not use a lot of strength either.

As for the carving in the birch, it was a very nice experience. I had to get a little bit sweaty and without the mallet it would not happen. Apparently, birch wood is medium heavy, medium dense and moderate hard? I do not know 😀 it is not as hard as oak or ebony, but I would not say that work in it is easy. I have made it extremely difficult for myself – I worked completely spontaneously. I only knew that it would be a bouquet of poppies thrown on the water. However, the entire openwork composition was created without a plan and a deliberate design.

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Conclusions? If you want to make spatial openwork composition with interlaced elements, start with a detailed design. I did everything manually which was quitedifficult. Not all places could easily be reached with a chisel and the stalks had to be sculpted from each side. The only simplification I used was the bottom layer of 5 cm I’ve added to the rest after the initial jig saw cut. Otherwise, it would not be physically possible. I would add that birch wood is relatively easy to grind and polish. The treated surface shines nicely.

I suppose that before I started work, it was enough to look for and ask carpenters how to do it. Of course, I wanted to do everything my way. I do not regret it – I learned so much. Today I would do everything differently 😀 The sculpture itself went out exactly as I wanted and the end result is satisfying for me.

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Final stage of my diploma.