Making Space:Sensing Place

In October 2009, along with artist Thurle Wright, I was awarded a Making Space:Sensing Place Fellowship; part of the HAT: Here and There International Exchange Programme, managed by A Fine Line:Cultural Practice. The Fellowship includes residencies with Britto Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with Arts Reverie in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London and with The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. Working and collaborating with artists and craftspeople from the UK, Bangladesh and India, responding to the collections and spaces we encounter and sharing these experiences through a touring exhibition and educational workshops.

This blog, which is still developing and being added to, is a record of my experiences during the MS:SP Fellowship. Steven Follen.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A trip to Dhamrai - Dhamrai Metal Casting Centre


Dhamrai Metal Handicrafts, a shop opposite Dhamrai Metal Casting Centre.

The casting centre produces high quality one off pieces based upon traditional designs.

Dhamrai Metal casting is set in a beautiful building - Banik House, with a courtyard centred around a well,

Our stop was brief but we saw examples of the wax modelling, The workers use 800w of light and heat from 4 bulbs to keep the wax soft.

The table has a hood made from jute sack cloth to hold in the heat, a kerosin lamp is used for localised heat to join and shape the wax. Temperature is key in working the wax, the men quickly and fluidly move the object between the table, the flame and a bowl of cool water depending on which task they are trying to achieve.

Unfortunately the monthly cast had taken place a few days before an the next one wasn’t to be until I had moved on to Gujarat within the project .

Sukanta Banik, the owner, broke down a mould to show the different layers of clay used in the molds construction and the quality of the casting.

Watch Sukanta break the mold and talk about the casting process here: Dhamrai Metal Casting.

We looked around the shop area, I liked the Alpana type painting on the floor.

I arranged to come back and spend more time watching and learning about the wax working and finishing processes.

We made our way to the boat museum. Along the way we saw individually painted adverts by the roadside.