If you literally wanted to take a piece of a building with you to a new one, Jesmonite is the way to do it. That’s what award winning artist Kate Ive found when she was commissioned to create 19 pieces of artwork for a new hospital in Scotland.
The old Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh was moving and merging with two other departments in a new build, but the original 1895 building was integral to the staff and patients, it was part of their identity.
So, Kate took some of the old building with them to the newly created Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.
“We put a large silicone mould on the side of the building and then used Jesmonite to create the replica bricks,” she said.
“It was the perfect background as staff and patients were actually quite sad to leave the old building.
“The brick backgrounds form part of the artwork, installed throughout the hospital in wall mounted cabinets which includes Jesmonite bones and a sculpted lighthouse too.”
Kate has experimented with Jesmonite for five years, but this is the first finished artworks she has created using AC100.
She said her experience in casting, using silicone moulds for clay, waxwork and plaster for bronze casting all set her up for using Jesmonite.
“I love using it,” she said.
“It is such an immediate material and I have a lot of control over it, especially if I am painting it into a mould, I can really see what I’m doing and get the surface I want.
“A lot of my work has intricate detail and Jesmonite is great for that, it is an effective way to translate my work into a permanent material.
“There is a lot to learn, every time I use it, I realise there are ways to improve my process.
“I am very interested in the potential for very different finishes, different colours and contrasts.”
And Kate can see Jesmonite having a large part in her future art.
Without access to her studio during lockdown, she worked from home to create small sculptural artworks.
She experimented with Jesmonite, exploring rust finishes to create engraved handheld chain sculptures. This forms part of a new edition of works made entirely of Jesmonite.
She experimented with the retarder to slow it down too.
“It is great, it has changed the way I can work with it as I’m not so rushed when painting into silicone moulds,” she said.
“I feel like I have made a lot of pieces, but I have only dipped my toe in with the use of Jesmonite though.
“With so much still to explore with Jesmonite, I will be creating future sculptures in the stone and marble finishes.”