• Lioness roundel

    I saw a photo of a very charming, very interesting sculpture on what was originally the offices of US Steel Co., 311 South Sarah st, St Louis.

    In fact, on this small one story building there are 7 of them!

    I really like this!

    It was once a US Steel office but is now occupied by the US Metals & Supply Co, probably a subsidiary of theirs.

    I’ve so far found absolutely nothing on this building which is surprising.

    The roundel appears to be about 24″ in diameter, and is overlaid on an oblong rectangular panel. I’m definitely considering making a model.

    By the way, as I discovered on a Canadian Architecture site, a little tidbit of roundel history;

    Medallions (or roundels) were a very fashionable form of ornament during the Renaissance; the most famous medallion maker was Luca Della Robbia in Florence. These are plaques, usually round, bearing figures or family symbols in relief. Sometimes they have stories or anecdotes. In the Art Deco period, these were left plain.

    A roundel is a small circular decorative plate used extensively in Renaissance courtyards and arcades often a niche containing a bust.

    So what we see of this shape in the US on facades would be a throwback or tribute to the Renaissance style’s use of these, even if the facade is not fancy Renaissance style, they used a key element from the style.

    Here’s a link to the site to learn all about the names of various elements found on building facades, you will discover what we have in the US on facades in the older cities all has it’s basis in form taken from Europe, which is logical since it was the imigrants in the 1870’s 1880’s and 1890’s coming through Ellis island in NYC for processing, who brought the styles and stone carving skills with them.

    Thumbnail image courtesy of Wampa-One

    Larger image here;

    Larger photo

    Canadian architectural terms site;

  • Art Deco

    While waiting for the new model to firm up a bit more as the moisture evaporates from the clay slowly to finish detailing, refining and cleaning up the design, a client contacted me about my Art Deco panel 8B and the possibility of casting 12 of them thin to be used as tiles in her bathroom remodelling project.

    After exchanging several emails about her project and discussing options, costs, advantages, disadvantages, I decided this project would work best with these cast being made in resin which is strong, lightweight, can be cast thin, and will accept the paints I use for most of my finishes.

    As the client wanted the Old Dirty Nickel finish that will work just fine. The main drawback for resin is it’s cost, even casting these panels only 1/2″ thick it will take 4-1/2 gallons of resin, which for that amount runs a little over $275. That cost is about $9 more per panel which must be added onto my normal price for the cast-stone i normally use, but one advantage will be the fact that the shipping will cost her less, and the panels can ship in 1-2 boxes instead of 6-12, so the additional cost is partly if not completely offset by savings in shipping costs.

    Resin is too expensive and more labor intensive to use for large, deep sculptures, it just takes too much of it, it begins setting rapidly, has to be brushed or troweled into the mold, and other techincal issues.

    It also does not accept stains as I use for one of my finishes.

    Resins tend to work best for sculptures like my 8B, or other relatively flat or small pieces.

    Panel 8B Art Deco