projected light over acrylic on paper
By 2007, I’d perfected my resin box creation process, employeeing a more sophisticated vacuum chamber and pouring resin into homemade silicone molds. After unmolding, these were suitable for viewing from all directions, not requiring framing. The ability to view the artwork from all angles matched my inspirational dream. Few of these were made, though, before I decided for various reasons to discontinue using resin.
- Resin is dangerous and despite my precautions, I had health concerns associated with daily prolonged use of resin within a home studio.
- Resin boxes are extremely heavy– even the small ones. Creating them at any scale simliiar to that of my dream was incompatible with my resources.
- Resin boxes are solid. In my dream, the figures were lifesize and I walked through them or at least between the layers.
I had to ask myself if my dream were a true vision of the future, then could the path forward be resin? Or should I move on and concern myself with materials that were more compatible with my vision? The answer was yes.
In order to make a resin box, I’d pour a layer of resin within a duct tape sealed wood frame, let it cure, paint the surface, then pour another layer of resin. I’d repeat this dozens of times until a solid block emerged. Because each curing required 24-48 hours, it required a daily commitment to see the process through to the end. After pouring the resin, I’d use a heat gun to make the resin less viscous, and more prone to releasing air bubbles whipped up when the two parts of the resin were mixed. The curing occured within a rubber sealed vacuum chamber I invented. As air was sucked out from one valve, any air bubbles whipped into the mixture of resin came to the surface. Then, I’d open another valve which introduced an environment of pure carbon dioxide. This atmosphere mixture burst any air bubbles appearing on the surface of the resin. Because uncured resin is highly toxic to be breathed in or touch living cells, all of this had to happen while wearing a respirator and full chemical suit.