Monday, January 25, 2016

ZORA PALOVA : Intuition + Gesture in Metal + Glass

As leaves were falling we had the privilege of hosting Zora Palova as International Randall Chair in Sculpture Dimensional Studies.

During her time she worked across media within the Sculpture area producing a beautiful new body of work in neon, glass, paper and cast iron.

Palová, who lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia, first studied painting and sculpture and then switched to glass, studying with well-known Czech glass sculptor Václav Cigler. She worked independently for 20 years while raising a family before teaching glass sculpture at the University of Sunderland in England. She currently devotes all of her time to creating her own sculptural work.

'Empty Seed'      Cast Iron + Yellow Felt
Her approach to cast glass sculpture is perhaps characteristic of her generation, which draws from—and breaks with—the ideas developed by the famous Czechoslovak artists of the postwar era, such as Cigler, Stanislav Libenský, and Jarolslava Brychtová. Her use of the material is gestural, emotional, and grounded in the natural world. She works with light, using rough textures and transparent color in glass.

Cast Glass, Wax + Iron
At the National Casting Center Foundry we are proud to have assisted her in producing her first two cast iron sculptures. Sculpture Professor Coral Penelope Lambert and Foundry Tech Paige Henry worked closely with Zora to articulate her vision in this new material whilst Sculpture Students helped with the pour.

Paige Henry and Jeremy Hanson on the Ladle: pouring iron at 2650 degree Fahrenheit form the induction furnace

Zora Palova and Coral Penelope Lambert with the successfully poured iron 'Leaf' sculpture.
The most direct way to translate the glass work into iron was to initially explore using her plaster silica molds for a series of waxes which could be directly melted out using the lost wax process. This resulted in a new addition to her ‘Leaf Series’ work that investigates the transition of glass, wax to iron.


Paige Henry at work on the molds for Zora
Another option we explored was to take a multi-piece rubber mold from an existing glass sculpture in order to make a replica, a twin of the original as in the case of yellow leaf.


Zora expressed how these new processes compliment her studio practice and reinforce her interest in the concepts of fragility versus strength, soft against hard, interior touching exterior and feminine alongside masculine.

'LEAF'     Cast Iron with Stove Black finish

Zora Palova selecting patinas for the finished work: she decided to go with the classic stove black with one and then yellow felt to create a soft interior on another.

Thank You Zora for visiting the Foundry: We hope to see you again! 
Photos by Zora Palova, Coral Penelope Lambert + Paige Henry

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