Workshop | Utensils Casting with Fishpond-mud!
From November to December in 2020
Connect everyday life with metalworking; fabricate daily utensils with sand casting technique.
In this retreat from my studio to Tai Sang Wai in the northwest part of the New Territories, I had the chance to lead students for a drawing session and teach them how to transform their landscape paintings into metal wares. This occasion allowed me to do some sketches and observe the rural beauty as well as to gain knowledge of birds. We also managed to collect crops from the field, beautiful but discarded objects, and bits and pieces related to this magnificent place. We transformed these found objects into little utensils through the sand-casting method: some made dishes for snacks, others made chopstick holders. But all these objects appeared irrelevant in front of the boundless sky and the rugged mountain.
Crops wither and rotten as they leave the land; dilapidated buildings collapse as time goes by. I suppose the casting technique is an alternative to photography as it eternises objects in their best or decaying state.
I concur with the saying of the friends from the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, “No matter clay, metals or our bodies, they all originate from Nature". I am glad that my workshop ended satisfactorily from collecting mud in the fishponds to cast objects by hand with sand moulds. I am also delighted by this opportunity in exploring the unusual way of metalworking.
Artist | Chan Po Fung
Started with small metal as his creative media since 2012, CHAN focuses on the art forms of material transformation and mechanism creations. He explores the relationships between individuals and societies via his artworks; meanwhile, he takes parts in different community art projects — as a way to seek the connection between craftsmanship and the community. His brand Playback Concept is further a way to practice a sustainable and autonomous integration of different craftsmanship.
Day 1 ·【Tai Sang Wai】
To prepare for the following workshop sessions, participants drew their favourite scenery and picked one object at the fishpond before transforming it into a daily item.
Day 2 ·【Bronze Plate Production】
After seeing the fishponds’ magnificent scenery, participants exerted their creativity by transforming the flowers, birds, insects, and fishes they had seen into their work.
Upon drawing their favourite scenery on the bronze plate, turn it into an extraordinary landscape painting with dye! This little bronze plate would come handy in daily life for carrying sundries or holding line incense.
Day 3 ·【Casting Objects】
Now let's cast it into a pure tin container and document the traces of the fish farmers and the fishponds.
Day 4·【Mud from the Fishpond】
By replicating participants’ belongings with mud from the fishpond and a wooden mould, the cast tinware embodies the rough texture of the fishpond mud, inscribing the pastoral atmosphere of Tai Sang Wai.