Philip Hearsey


Philip Hearsey
Philip Hearsey
£1750 - £2975

Philip Hearsey specialises in sandcasting to make sculptures that engage the quality of bronze as a noble material in its own right. After a formal training at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, Hearsey continued exploring his more artistic interests, and he spent many years developing in different aspects of interiors, furniture and architecture. He devotes his talents to making sculptures intimate in scale and intended for the interiors of home, office, yachts or hotels.

The process:
Philip Hearsey specialises in casting solid bronze in sand moulds which is a simple and immediate process avoiding the time and commitment spent on more complex lost wax casting. Sand-casting imposes a discipline which is limiting but at the same time enriching.
Occasional pinholes can arise from porosity in the bronze and colour is achieved in many ways. The most common and widely used method is to oxidise [patinate] the bronze, 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 colourwash, that maintains the inimitable variegation and effect possible with oxidisation, whilst producing a more vivid finish. The most usual colourwash is acrylic but oil-bound washes or coloured waxes are sometimes used.
Colouring can also be achieved by painting alone and often this technique is utilised on part of a sculpture in combination with patination. Painting allows a greater range of colours than patination alone.
All colouring is finished and protected by a marine grade lacquer and/or wax.
Polishing bronze produces an incomparable depth of colour and finish with amazing reflection but will require care as time and touch cause tarnishing. More often exposed natural bronze is brushed and/or patinated, before lacquering for protection and less frequent maintenance. This cannot match the effect possible with polishing as it reduces the “sparkle” but it does provide long lasting protection.
Lacquering bronze protects it against uneven and often disturbingly patchy tarnishing as a result of touching and contact with natural skin oils. It also retards natural darkening which is most pronounced by direct sunlight. The outcome may be seen as an even “tan”. Preserving the lacquer merits careful handling but is easily renewed by returning a sculpture to me or by an expert following careful instructions.
Slate composite is Cornish slate dust from Delabole mixed with resin and cast in a mould. Fine marble chippings, glass or other materials are sometimes added for textural effect and a base may be identified just as “composite”.
Fissures in burr oak bases are usually filled with resin bonding the bronze dust that is reclaimed as sculptures are refined and finished.
Many pieces turn on their bases and this allows the owner to select a favourite view, change regularly or catch a particular light.

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