Spike Blackhurst - Sculptress


The creation of Against All Odds

I call myself a Process Artist due to the technical and material experience that is required to create such works of art, and I equally enjoy the making as well as the outcome. When I exhibit, I believe in showing my experiments, methodology and equipment used when creating my sculptures.

Below are various images chosen to demonstrate the process and transformation each sculpture has undergone.

Mind Control – I began with sculpting the clay brain first, adding detail and and Raku firing and then after many experiments with various types of fish hooks embedded into the brain, I finally found the thickness and size that would remain intact and that kept its strength. As the target was to suspend the brain from the hooks with thin wire attached to a frame.

The brain suspension frame was inspired and based on medical technology that has been developed to hold a broken limb in place while it repairs itself.

I forged from steel and constructed the frame to suspend the brain at a height in line with my own brain. .

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Voice – I sculpted lots of different shapes and sizes of thyroid, until I found a suitable size that would withstand the firing process. For the impact I needed to show, I experimented with various sharp impaled metal objects, some I forged myself, others were what I had around my workshop. The heat from the firing melted some and others created too many cracks in the clay, finally I chose the nails, especially as it simulated the painful feeling that a thyroid disorder can often have.

I created a new glaze due to experimenting and working with accidents. The surface has a smooth bobbery texture, and glistens like diamonds when a spotlight is shone across the surface.

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Love – I first experimented joining flat pieces of clay together with metal staples. The size and “wiggle room”, (the space left around the staples) to allow for the clay shrinkage when fired was critical. I then began to form the clay heart in sections, much like how I piece together my metal sculptural forms.

The heart needed to be hollow with no cavities or the piece would blow up.

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Intuition – This piece was the most challenging as the small intestine was forged using a pipe section and made in many parts, all needing to be seamlessly welded together. Then nested in the large intestine which connected to the stomach and centralized up to the esophagus.

This was the only sculpture made from entirely steel, and has the positive message of courage, strength and self-belief.

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