Plaster Relief, Lily

This was one of the most technically challenging projects of my freshman year at RISD. I was lucky enough to have Merlin Szasz before he passed away. The Plaster Relief Nature project. We spent nearly half the semester on this. Typically, I don’t think in the third dimension. I thrive in representing a story, a flow, logic, decisions, challenges, coaxing the user in one way or another. One still moment in time, much less a physical object, is a challenge for me. To create life and dynamism and movement and excitement and joy and emotion in a static object was an exciting endeavor.

After several drafts, studies, and sketches, both with pen and paper, as well as in plasticine clay, which will not harden over time, I came upon a final design that brought life and broke the constraints of its container. It was an exercise in creating a dialogue between organic and geometric forms. The final mock, modeled out of plasticine, was painted with a thick coating of rubber to create a mold, into which plaster was poured and left to harden. It was an incredibly rewarding project, and I learned a lot about the way I think and work. It was a privilege to work with Merlin.