Hide Scraper – Duane Linklater – Edmonton, Canada
Upon the recommendation of the Edmonton Arts Council (EAC), Carvel Creative was contacted by artist Duane Linklater to provide assistance with a public art proposal destined for Edmonton’s new Aboriginal Art Walk in Queen Elizabeth Park.
Carvel aided the artist with budget and schedule development in addition generating a scale model for his proposal. Linklater proposed an enlarged replication of an ancient hide scraper, a bone tool used by the indigenous people of the area for scraping animal hides. The reproduction, a nine-foot form fabricated from concrete, would be installed on the grass as if left behind; a discovery for the viewer−unearthing an artifact.
Linklater was awarded the competition and engaged Carvel Creative to execute the sculpture.
Carvel embarked upon the design and visualization phase by digitally sculpting the artifact for production, animations and rendering. Referencing the genuine artifact, Carvel formed the piece in ZBrush−a process that permits maximum flexibility in updating and detailing the model while enabling visualizations in situ.
Upon the artists approval Carvel proceeded to detailed and fabrication design. Focusing on the technical aspects of connections and foundation details, Carvel provided the artist and EAC with the sealed engineering package.
Using expanded polystyrene foam as the substrate, Carvel rotationally milled the plug on a 4-Axis CNC router to achieve a 90% detail level. Tooling mark removal, smoothing and fine detailing were completed by hand before being given a hard-shell coating in preparation for plug casting.
Due to the scale, weight and form of the sculpture the plug casting required a four-part composite mould inclusive of strategic gating and undercut allowances for release. The mould casing was formed from urethane rubber backed with a plaster and burlap jacket integrated with a structural steel support.
In preparation for the concrete cast, Carvel implanted a rebar cage for structure into the mould along with the installation mounts. Using a custom concrete blend that promotes stability, structure and the desired colouration, Carvel poured the mixture and vibrated the mould to release surface bubbles and internal voids.
After a three day cure the positive part was successfully released with all details unblemished. Any voids and seams were addressed through grinding and filling. Carvel then added stain washes for depth, and to enhance the essence of the artifact.
The piece was prepped for shipping and transported to Edmonton. On site, a hilly unapproachable setting, the Carvel team required an off-road telescoping lift to locate the 2000 lb sculpture. The concluding step was an anti-graffiti coating to aid conservation.