The Boat

Posted on May 11, 2008 by Ruth Allen

In late 2008 I was approached by Penguin Australia (publishing house) to create a celebratory award/gift for Pamela Allen commemorating the sale of over five million of her books. After discussions it was decided that the work would be a lost wax cast piece reminiscent of A Boat, the idea being that this represented the smooth sailing of sales and long standing relationship between themselves and the author.

Lost wax casting is not my forte although I was taught the complex methodology at Canberra School of Art during my undergraduate. The commission was timely as I had been dreaming of forms I believed would only be achievable using this process, it was a good opportunity to launch myself into the technique whilst forfilling the commission.

I approached dear friend Helen Stokes who is a master of this technique. Helen coached me through her unique and self discovered honey comb technique of mold making. We were not completely successful on the first attempt, fortunately I had made a latex negative of the original wax form and could reproduce this positive. The opportunity to cast the piece twice invited a fresh start, I had originally made the wax to look like glass thinking that I would polish the form and it be as mirror, once experiencing the results of this I realized it was far more interesting to make the glass look like wax, which is what I proceeded to do.

The Boat is cast from rhubarb coloured Bullseye crystal, this magical material changes colour according to different light, in sunlight the work appears pink/purple and in artificial light the work turns a gorgeous leaf green (difficult to appreciate here in these photos).

45 x 17 x 33cm

Photo credit; Andrew Bacham


Posted in Commissions