Ammonite Jurassic Cracked Stainless Steel - 2018
This sculpture is Hamish's interpretation of a Jurassic ammonite fossil. The spiral shape of the fossilised shell is horn-like, and the term ammonite refers to the Egyptian god Ammon who wore the coiled horns of a ram.
Mankind has always had a fascination with the past. One can imagine early man might have stared with the same awe at these fossils, hundreds of millions of years old - one of the first forms of art appreciation. Hamish wanted to create a contemporary sculpture that also conveys a sense of the timeless beauty of these fossils.
Hamish has used a number of techniques to produce both form and texture. The cracks look random, but in fact have been carefully controlled by the construction of the armature. After sculpting in clay, Hamish then used a gas torch to burn the surface at high temperature. The result is the cracking, which contrasts with the geometrically precise tight ribs of the fossil.
Ammonite Jurassic Cracked Stainless Steel 2018 is Hamish's first sculpture cast by Lockbund Foundry into stainless steel, using the newly commissioned induction tilt furnace. The highlights have been taken to a mirror polished finish. It would look equally striking in both a country and urban environment and works both indoors and outside. It is also available in bronze.
The angular lines of the plinth complement the organic natural forms of the ammonite. The core ten steel plinth is designed to rust on the surface. It is also possible to supply the sculpture on alternative plinths - IE stone or oak.
When placed with Ammonite Cretaceous 2018, these two fossil sculptures make a striking pair.
THIS SCULPTURE IN THE MAKING
I took a mechanical approach to making the form and worked on an axle to sculpt the fluting. I wanted the cracking to look completely random, but it also had to be really controlled. Having sculpted the ammonite in clay, I burnt it with a gas torch to blow off tiny facets of clay which gives an amazing texture and causes it to crack. It was no mean feat to cast into stainless steel as it melts at around 1400 degrees C! I can't wait to see this one installed in various locations.