Timaru sculptor casts bronze spell with artistic works

Trevor and Elizabeth Askin busy in his Timaru studio.


Trevor and Elizabeth Askin busy in his Timaru studio.

While many South Canterbury locals spent the South Canterbury Birthday Weekend in the garden or soaking up the sun, a Timaru sculptor was busy in his workshop creating commissioned and freestanding pieces.

Bronze sculptor Trevor Askin has completed over 600 works in the past, nearly 40 years, and shows no signs of slowing down – once he completes his final batch of pieces, he will start working on a set. of trophies for one of the best in the world. golf courses, in the North Island.

For the past week, he has been busy again in his workshop, painstakingly creating his works in cast bronze.

Trevor Askin is working on a bronze sculpture in his studio in Timaru.


Trevor Askin is working on a bronze sculpture in his studio in Timaru.

Askin’s work can be seen throughout the region, including the Paperboy at the end of the Royal Arcade of Timaru and the three-quarters life-size bronze sculpture of a blacksmith, installed in Orari in 2006 in homage to the pioneers of the district and to others.

READ MORE: Could Timaru become New Zealand’s sculpture capital?

While Askin said he was unable to name the golf course he would soon start working with, he has already made parts for them.

Trevor Askin's sculpture work is a complex process.


Trevor Askin’s sculpture work is a complex process.

“I have also made trophies for them in the past,” he said. Thing.

He said his studio’s latest work was “part of every facet” of his pieces.

“I work with wax – what you see on the bronze sculpture was once wax.”

The process involves building eight to 10 layers of refractory material over the wax sculpture. Ceramic slurry is mixed in a plastic-lined wheelbarrow – the mixture for coating several wax sculptures is about 20 liters of colloidal silica. It is called the binder as when heated to 1000 degrees Celsius if it fuses ceramic materials together.

The finely ground calcined kaolin, or porcelain clay, is then mixed with silica.

Askin’s wife is also part of the process, spinning a “rain machine” that sprinkles a thin layer of zircon sand on the sculpture.

Once dry, the process is complete again, except this time molochite grains are used.

The third coat and the remaining coats – up to 10, is a slightly different process, then the sculpture is left to dry completely for several days.

Askin’s work can be found in private collections around the world and he is an artist elected member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

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