Composite Process

Jack Gibson has been working with First Nations artists for more than two decades. He feels a connection to their art and has earned respect as a sculptor by collaborating with artists to produce their designs. Jack creates limited editions of the original work.

Here he describes his process:

“After experimenting with many materials I found my own great composite medium by using white marble and white metal or bronze powder to start. I must prepare the original for moulding, by making a frame with many keys (winches at 15 degree angles) to lock in the silicone rubber. It’s most important to press all the air out of the rubber so that the mould can capture every detail. When the rubber is at an even thickness, the back of the piece is keyed again. After the cured framework is removed, I apply a rigid mother shell over the keys to lock it together. After curing the silicone, the mother shell is removed from the original, leaving it ready to produce the editions.

After washing the mould, the composite choice of metal or marble is de-aired and is allowed to cure. More composite with fibre is layered into the piece. After it cures again, the composite is removed from the mould, the metal surface is descaled by hand then sterilized. Now it is ready for me to apply a patina achieved by using acid to make the desired colour. Finishing touches include polishing highlights, neutralizing it, sealing and making it ready for installation.”