Raphael was born from an encounter in the street. He agreed to pose for me and a friendship was born. I really liked his relaxed and not neglected posture.
This character, a 21st century David, is none other than a boy encountered in the street. his natural, relaxed body language lent itself perfectly for my monumental ‘United Nations’ project.
Making a resin cast of "Rafael"
The work of resin cast is and a long process of patience, concentration and perseverance. Throughout the steps it is very important to work carefully and cleanly to ensure that closing the parts of the mold allows the joins to be as clean as possible without shifting or lack of material. On a job as big as this one it is advised to have help to lift and place the mold parts.
A large table of 3m by 2.50m was built to place the parts of the molds and work comfortably on them.
The existing mold should be checked in detail. A dry assembly and disassembly make it possible to study the precise procedure of the assembly when the parts are ready with their resin.
The different mold pieces are spread on the table and a first layer a gel coat is applied which allows a base color and captures all the details.
Several successive layers of fiberglass (glass mat) of different thicknesses and resin follow.
A steel armature among others is integrated to ensure solidity. Along the edges a thick layer of gel coat is applied just before the assembly of two parts which allows to have a clean joint plane and a solid bonding.
Polyester resin is a very sensitive product to temperature changes, the drying time can vary a lot and this defines the process of the unfolding. You have to be very careful not to have shrinkage due to too rapid drying which would result in a shift in the assembly.
The assembly of the pieces is done according to the ability to access inside them everywhere to add more fiberglass to strengthen the joints.
The release is done delicately, the silicone being fragile due to its age.
It is not forbidden to be proud of such work, here with the molder Etienne Lamoureux.
Then begins a long work of chasing and repairing defects with hand and pneumatic tools. With a thickened gel coat fill in the gaps.
A good steel frame is integrated in the base and attachments for fixing on site during installation.
What a joy to see one’s sculpture ready to be colored.
The patina on Rafael was done with color pigments and white and brown shellac. Thin transparent layers are superimposed to allow a play of color with depth and transparency.
Good packaging for transport ensures that nothing harms the piece during the journey and the lifting. Foam and bubble wrap protect the surface of the sculpture.