From, ‘Song to the Men of England’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley 1839.
The seed ye sow, another reaps;
The wealth ye find, another keeps;
The robes ye weave, another wears;
The arms ye forge, another bears.
Sow seed – but let no tyrant reap:
Find wealth – let no imposter heap:
Weave robes let not the idle wear:
Forge arms – in your defence to bear.
Workers, labourers, cloth and arms are all drawn together in the concepts behind my work. Individual ‘cogs’ reference individuals within a whole, some, highly coloured, could suggest higher equality. As well as its historical use in woollen production and its presence on the battle field, the clay may serve as a reminder of our dependence on the soil.
This week I have been experimenting with other ways to cover the brown metal ‘cogs’ and attempting to adapt some failed experiments.
I am not as pleased with the metal cog sculptures. It may be because I am dealing with straight, hard lines rather than organic curves. They seem more contrived and unnatural and have certainly caused me more problems. However they do provide a contrast which may contribute interest in the final installation of the work.
Above centre is an experiment that had not worked as an object within the group due to the wrapped scorched cloth I had used. I have now painted the cloth with clay and the ‘cog’ is threaded giving a spiders web effect. The white thread seems to work quite well against the metal and is a delicate contrast to the solid colours.
The group of ‘cogs’ are slowly growing and becoming evermore varied. How do I know when to stop? That is a difficult question but I’m not there yet. I think I will build on some of the methods that have been most successful and develop some smaller pieces. As I make more sculptures I will have to consider the proportion of yellow ‘cogs’ and increase these as necessary. At the moment I feel I may need one or two very small pieces to add to the mix.