The starting point for much of my work is the computer, designing shapes and patterns from which I will make my moulds.
There is a perverse inversion which occurs as I move between the silicon and silica worlds. The computer systems allow a surprising amount of free thinking and experimentation, as I can always invoke the spell of Ctrl-Z to step back. So, the precise computer systems allow me to be very inaccurate at any given step, as I can step back.
But, when I come to work a material, the poured clay or a mould. Then it all changes. The very medium which is usually associated with free thinking and experimentation, demands much more care and careful attention. There is no Ctrl-Z in the real world.
This was particularly in my mind as I worked on my latest Marilyn Monroe Lithophane mould. The 3D printer produces very precise lines and "making marks" across her face. These I smoothed down with water and metal tools. Looking to keep the undulations in the face which the Lithophane process relies on, but remove the terrace style way the printer makes them up.
When working on the computer I flit around the screen, testing ideas and approaches, lost in the development process without fear. Working where there is no Ctrl-Z a more Zen like state is required, I try to become part of the piece. I try to see the final artwork in the piece.
Of course, as I do this, I see how the first and second stages are steps along the same road, and understand that knowing how firm your ground is, when to jump, and when to tread lightly, is all part of the joy of the journey.