Now each of the frames has been coated in the undercoat, the real fun can begin – colour matching!
Interested in historical architectural colours, I’ve spent some time researching colours that were true to the first colour standard for household paint manufacturers written in the 1900s. During this quest, Patrick Baty, author of The Anatomy of Colour and a great inspiration for this work, got in touch through social media and made some suggestions which were perfect and that’s when the fun began!
However, with only five of the eight frames able to fit on my jig, three frames needed to be complete by the end of the week so I could swap them out and start on a new set. With some of the work off the jig, it became clearer how the final piece would begin to look.
Week two is the week of preparation. In order to ensure a smooth and slick finish to the painted timbers, each one went through various stages of preparation.
Stages of preparation
- Fill any screw holes or damage to the timber and sand back
- Sand the edges of each timber to stop the paint from cracking
- Coat each of the knots in the timber with a special varnish to prevent the resin from discolouring the paint
- Coat each of the 8 frames with two coats of preservative to prevent rot or moulding of the timber.
Coat each of the 8 frames with a white undercoat to ensure the coloured gloss paint can properly adhere.
The first challenge when making this work, was to sort out the twist and bowed timbers and make sure the 8 frames were square by with using ratchets and clamps.
Once the frames were built the true scale of the work became visible for the first time and the daunting prospect of the work ahead became a reality!
To ensure each frame can be worked on at the same time, I’ve built a jig which will support the work and enable it to be free standing in the studio.
My proposed sculpture, The Anatomy of Colour is a direct response to the garden and the hotel, but also builds on my current practice which engages with the history of painting, geometry and colour theory.
Based on the layers of one of my colour field paintings, the sculpture will be made of eight layers to reflect the eight bedrooms in Broomhill’s hotel and is based on trellis and fencing construction. Each layer will be made from wooden posts which will be constructed to form eight 2m x 2m geometric frames. These will be equally separated to form a cube.
Reflecting Broomhill’s Victorian history, the eight frames will be painted in exterior gloss paint, the colours specifically chosen from the first colour standard for household paint manufacturers written in the 1900s.
Unachievable on a two dimensional painted canvas, numerous and varying colour relationships will be created as the sculpture will be read from multiple viewpoints. When directly in front of the sculpture a single image will be apparent, yet when viewed from the side, the image will begin to fragment. This will allow the viewer to deconstruct the image for themselves. Once on the other side of the sculpture, the layers will be viewed from back to front, shifting the relationship of the colours once more.
Sarah Emily Porter – NSP sketches