Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brendon Hesmondalgh

Brendan Hesmondhalgh
Artists Statement
   Brendan's work has always been inspired by the different form, movement and characteristics of nature. Large life-like sculptures, encapsulating real essence of his subjects as he sees through his own personal experiences. .
Each piece is individually crafted using slabs of fibre reinforced clay wrapped around a armature. In this way wrinkles, textures folds can be readily incorporated into the shape. The wet flexible clay can be pushed out from the inside to form the fullness of a belly, the line of a rib or the undulation of a muscle. Brendan is nationally renowned for his original clay sculptures. Brendans work is often cast into alternative materials, predominately bronze or bronze resin, sometimes cast iron. The works are produced for private and corporate clients. The last 24months has see Brendans work escalate from smaller scale garden sculptures to large scale bronzes for the public sector. 2006/2007 saw Brendan secure his first of two major art commissions. Brendan works primarily in ceramic and creates bold animal designs that are often mounted on ceramic plinths. He uses a hand-building technique that deliberately cracks the surface of the clay. By pushing out a sheet of clay from the inside the surface breaks as it stretches.
Brendan marks the surface with a metal tool, and an airgun is used to dry the surface so that it will hold its shape
 This technique ensures that there is no need to hollow out afterwards. Air and water can get trapped during firing if the clay is thicker than an inch, resulting in cracks or sometimes exploding pots.
Sculptures are fired to 1240 C in an electric kiln. The detail is highlighted with a metal oxide that is brushed on, and then sponged off. Glaze stains are used as colourants, both during the making, and during glazing. Brendan uses as little glaze as possible, and will often seal the surface with wax, after firing, rather than risk loosing the detail by applying a glaze.

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