After formal training at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Philip Hearsey spent many years working in and exploring different aspects of interiors, furniture and architecture. He now devotes his time to making sculpture and although there are a few outdoor pieces, most are intimate in scale and intended for the interiors of home, office, yacht or hotel.
He specializes in sand casting to make sculptures that engage the quality of bronze as a noble material in its own right. Casting in sand moulds is a simple and ancient method far removed from the sophisticated lost wax operation used by most art foundries. The sand casting process is relentless and unforgiving – the foundry is no place for a delicate original. It denies a complexity of form that imposes a disciplinary and enriching simplicity.
Color is achieved in many ways. The most common and widely used method is to oxidize (patinate) the bronze by employing the same chemical reaction that occurs in nature, but using a combination of mild heat and stronger solutions to achieve a faster result. Patination can be enhanced by the application of a transparent colorwash that maintains the inimitable variegated effects that are possible with oxidization, whilst producing a more vivid finish. The most usual colorwash is acrylic, but oil-bound washes or colored waxes are sometimes used. Coloring can also be achieved by painting alone and often this technique is utilized on part of a sculpture in combination with patination. Painting allows a greater range of colors than patination alone. All coloring is finished and protected by a marine grade lacquer and/or wax.
“I cut, carve, grind or weld the cast bronze to create unique forms before finishing the natural bronze with oxidation, or enhancing it with colorwash or paint, in order to produce the unique surface finishes that have always been an essential dimension of my work. Bronze is eternal - yet malleable. I love the stuff. In its natural state, the tone and depth of color is sublimely beautiful, yet the surface is endlessly receptive to the transformative effects of oxidation. I have always been intrigued by the surface and the alchemy of patination. Not because of any obsession with technique which is difficult to master, but because of the challenging possibilities and the unpredictability of the outcome."
Philip lives and works on the Welsh borders of Herefordshire – a beautiful place, still remote and largely unaltered, landlocked and very slow in change. This is in sharp contrast to the coast that he also loves, where everything changes twice a day with the rise and fall of each tide.
What is in his head when he creates the work is deeply personal, but it matters equally that the sculptures engage others to connect with the deep-rooted and instinctive appreciation of simple, universal forms that underpin his inspiration.
To commission this artist, or to ask the artist or HNWgallery a question, please visit one of Philip's listings and use the "Inquire" tab at the bottom of the listing.
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