Tinder

I found this beech log covered in Tinder fungus in the Bluebell Wood (see previous post) and really saw potential in its gnarled form. Having already used tissue paper to sculpt a small tree trunk, I had similar plans for this piece, however I realised that it would be far more challenging. For the trunk sculpture, I covered half of it at a time, and then joined the two halves together.

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Due to the complicated shape of this log, I decided I would have to try another technique. I started thinking about paper pulp, but then, looking around my studio, I spotted a packet of baby wipes and I had an idea.

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I covered the log in cling film first, then dipped the baby wipes into PVA glue, and gently wrapped them over the log. They seemed to mould to the forms pretty well, so I continued to cover the whole log with them.

I left them to dry for a couple of days and here is the result:

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The result is a lightweight organic sculpture, with a frosted transparent quality

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The semi-transparent quality of this medium could be exploited by use of illumination. It reminds me a bit of the first piece I produced for the Take Two Influences project, where I used threads to join plastic milk bottle pieces together, and used glowing lights  to highlight the threads and netting inside.

The only issue I have with this piece is the fact that it is dirty…small particles of bark and dirt (which must have slipped through the cling film) have stuck to the material, and for me, it spoils the look of the piece.

I though about how best to present it, and after a lot of contemplation, I decided I would fix it onto a piece of canvas board, and spray the whole piece white.

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‘Tinder’ (baby wipes and acrylic on board) 

I’m really quite satisfied with the final result of this, and this is a method I will employ again to document other interesting aspects of the landscape. I like the minimal, contemporary feel of this piece, and feel it was the right decision to paint it white. I will, however, try this technique using objects which are less challenging in terms of shedding residual dirt, as I still want to explore the transparency of this new material I have discovered.

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