Because of Covid 19 and lockdown we have breezed through most of the small stuff we have had waiting to finish and have now to pull up our big girl pants and tackle the big stuff.
So on my work table today, and to be fair on Howard’s work table too, are the Grace statues. Now Grace is our biggest piece 60 cms high, 35 cms across her shoulders and weighing just above 20 kilos. This one takes the most amount of preparation of any of our pieces before she gets in the final polishing machine.
Howard and I don’t usually work that well together when we are on the same task. We each do the tasks that we are best at; he designs, I perfect the proforma. He makes the moulds and casts the pieces. I remove seams and rub the statues down for the polishing machine. I polish the black and white statues on the buffing machine, he polishes the bronze. You get the theory; we both have very fixed ideas of the best way to do something. Team work is great but best achieved by working in our own sections.
However Grace is the exception when it comes to the preparatory rub downs. Although to be fair we do work in different places to get it done without confrontation.
Howard removes the seam left by the mould, at present he has set up on the outside table and is working away with a lovely view out across the garden to rest his eyes on when he gets tired of the constant rub, rub, scratch, scratch.
After that is done I collect her and take her off to my workspace, aka the table in the corner of the workshop. I remove all the other small faults and replace any details lost by removing the seam. The whole rubbing down process takes on average around 6 hours between the two of us and is done is fits and starts. This is mostly because she weighs on average 20 kilos and can be heavy to hang onto and manoeuvre. I often end up with her half on and half of the table balanced in my lap so that I can get to the tricky bits.
In total in various stages of finishing we have 7 Grace’s waiting patiently in and around the house and workshop. Yes, sometimes these lovely ladies do actually move in with us despite the fact we try to leave work in the workshop, mostly when the weather is bad as it was last week with constant rain. Two are having a lie down on the floor by the dining table, one is hanging about on the sideboard by the telephone, another is lounging on a chair outside and three are waiting patiently down in the workshop.
Finishing of this type is a slow but careful process so that we can always be sure of maintaining the high standard that you are used to getting from us, but we are cracking on and keeping cheerful while doing it. This set of 7 should be ready for the machine by the end of this week if we don’t get distracted by anything else.
As soon as the powers that be let us out, with or without a written attestation, Howard will be on his way to you with the current selection of busts, Grace of course included.