Sculpting the high striker (Smash The Patriarchy)
After finalising the construction design laid out in the sketches (in the previous blogpost), the next day I began sculpting. I started working on the high striker plank first because it was going to be the largest area that would require more carving and sanding. For this I used a plank of pine wood. The plank was 240cm in length, which was a good height for the high striker, and 20cm in width and 4cm in depth, which was thick enough for two reasons: (1) it was a sturdy and strong enough piece of wood to handle the pull of a taut galvanised steel wire and the slamming of the hammer; and (2) there is enough wood to carve drips into without affecting the first reason.
Photograph 3 depicts the tools I was using. After experimenting with different tools, I found the most effective way of carving out and into large areas of wood was to use a wooden mallet hammer and chisel. This traditional way of working with wood reminded me of how the renaissance Masters used to work. In this patriarchal history of art, this way of working would have been considered as masculine. However, I felt a sense of empowerment as I worked with the hammer and chisel to subvert these traditional patriarchal ideas.
*Photographs 1-11 were taken on 3rd March 2017.
Continuing the work I began the day before, I used a machine sander to smooth over the chiseled marks. By doing so, I was able to bring out a rough appearance of the melting wood in this first section, in order to assess whether I needed to add or subtract any drips.
*Photographs 12-14 were taken on 4th March 2017.
Becoming more and more confident with using the hammer and chisel, I expanded my collection of chisels (see photograph 17). These chisels were of various sizes and shapes, each enabling me a different method of carving the wood.
*Photographs 15-19 were taken on 6th March 2017.
This photograph depicts the front side of the sculpture as almost completely carved/melting. I had to keep the top and bottom sections free from any carvings because I had yet to carve the splash at the top of the high striker and construct and attach the lever contraption at the bottom.
*Photograph 20 was taken on 7th March 2017.
Having almost finished carving the front side, I was then able to move onto carving the sides. Once these were carved, it would be easier to work on the back because I would have starting points in the form of drips from which to carve from the sides.
*Photographs 21-28 were taken on 8th March 2017.