The Wonderful World of Jesmonite
Friday, 2 April 2021
Last week on instagram I received a few questions regarding my process and use of materials. I thought it might be a great idea to do a blog post about what's been happening creatively over the past few months, specifically, my new found love for Jesmonite.
It was around October of 2020 that I started to get that sculptural itch. Having been illustrating again for some time now I knew it was only a matter of time before my insatiable appetite to create with my hands, feeling the materials of what i'm making in my hands, the dirt, the cuts and scrapes, the thoughts of a 3 dimensional piece existing in space and not just on a page was fuelling me with a great fire that had to be released.
So the small object making began. As with most things, I hesitated to begin, unsure if my hands would know what to do. Sure enough, they did, like riding a bike, but, better. Better because of all the knowledge I have now that I didn't before. My creative eye is sharper than ever, I know how to problem solve on the fly in a way that I couldn't before. I'm more informed about materials and tools and the best ways to use them. All of this time I thought I lacked confidence when what I was lacking was knowledge (and a whole heap of time but that's motherhood for you).
Once I had a nice collection of sculptural shapes and I was satisfied with the direction I was going, I started to think about how I could make these abstract objects accessible to my community and patrons.
Then I stumbled upon Jesmonite and took a remote course to learn how to use it. If you've never heard of Jesmonite, it's a wonderfully versatile material typically used for sculptures, large scale architectural work and most commonly, especially nowadays, casting! Jesmonite is a fire-resistant non-toxic eco resin so it really is a great alternative to regular resin as well as ceramics and pottery because there is no need for a kiln. Absolutely perfect for me as I was homeschooling 2 children as well as looking after a toddler in the middle of a pandemic, I wasn't exactly going to the nipping to the studio (not that i had one mind you) any time soon.
Soon enough I had a small body of work created from Jesmonite as well as several lightbulb moments as I learned how this material moved and grooved. Needless to say I'm in love with it and cannot wait to share a new body of work with you next month.