“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

NHS Barnsley

Lemniscate sculpture July 23rd – September 18th 2023.

On 23rd July 2023 the Barnsley Facilities Services office followed up on an email from 23rd January 2023 confirming that we were ready to proceed with manufacture as soon as we were paid. Their email stated that they thought the order had been raised earlier, said we would have it tomorrow and could we finish in time for Organ Donation Week which is 19th September 2023. I replied that To answer your question, if I start now and everything goes well then yes, 18th September is achievable. I’ve got enough kit to start work on the build but I will need the money to buy the silicon and the resin within the next three weeks. I can’t start literally straight away as I’m away until Monday 31st.

The last time I referred to this project, or illustrated it was in this blog post – ‘Gardens Project 12: First Post in Three Months’

building the lemniscate


This is a step by step guide to how it happened. I started earlier than I said as I had some materials. This is the first stage of the lemniscate on a wire frame wrapped in mesh and cotton scrim.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"



I continued to build up the layers to around 100mm girth and balance the shape, but pressures of time meant I couldn’t take the form apart and rebuild the parts that weren’t perfect. I had to build it as close as I could and then sand it back.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"

finishing (somewhat earlier than ideal)


After a week of adding and sanding I’d reached this form and I had to accept that this was it for the master.

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

I am still trying to get in to the studio as often as possible

Beginning the mould making


So I coated it with release agent, and Vaseline eventually. I use clay walls and laid the plaster on to about 25mm thickness. I decided that if I made the mould as three sections around the circumference I’d avoid problems with removing it.

Turning the mould


The next day I turned the piece over and repeated the process with the second run of mouldings.

The finished mould


A couple of days later I applied the final layer.

marking up for removal


And after a day drying, nowhere near long enough, I marked up the mould and

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

back to the original


Took the sections off.

the numbered and marked sections


In the end there were 23 parts to the mould. If I’d been a bit braver I might have reduced this to an even dozen. Hindsight is marvellous.

fixing the mould together


So then I put the mould back together after the parts were vaselined for release. This was a pain as the markings disappeared as the mould wasn’t dry enough.

the assembled mould


But here is the hollow mould on the 27th August. I’m awaiting delivery of the resin I was able to order on the 25th when I got payment.

plastering the gaps


On the 30th the resin arrived, and extra plaster so I was able to finish the exterior to prevent leaks.

turning the mould


The mould had to be turned to facilitate this and the process took about 2.5 hrs.

ready for the pour


The lemniscate upended to allow for resin pouring. The pour was made in three parts, the first 15kg over around an hour when there were small leaks around some lower joints. Plaster of Paris was applied to seal these and the mould was left for 45 minutes to allow the resin to reach gel consistency. Then the next 20kg of resin was poured and the process with small leaks was repeated. After another hour, around 4:45 pm the last pour of about 10kg was made. A small amount of Plaster was again used to close a couple of small leaks.

the ‘workshop’


The “workshop” with the lemniscate covered and used resin containers in the background.

the mould is full


The hardened resin at the top of the mould at 8pm on the 31st August. The lemniscate is covered and the resin left to cure for five days.

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

building the plinth


Building the plinth

the top of the plinth


The plinth comes in two parts and the lemniscate will be secured by the two aluminium posts on the top. I have the feeling it’s too tall.

the broken original


The original lemniscate was being used as the test piece for the top of the plinth so I could place the holes to secure it. Unfortunately it broke into three pieces before I could test it.

fixing the original


Obviously I still needed to test the positioning of the lemniscate so I have to repair the original. This image shows two of the three pieces placed together ready to be fixed, you can see the connector piece on the left and just about see the break on the extreme left at about 10 o’clock.

cleaning the cracks


A close up view of the break on the left of the photograph above.

fastening the third break


The third piece of the broken lemniscate ready to be fastened. You can see the repair to the right hand side of this break that needed fixing before the whole piece was tied in.

the completed original


The three pieces tied together and left to set. I used plaster of plaster for these with a low water mix for strength and cotton scrim to bind it together. The picture is distorted as as I had to hold the camera above my head to get it all in even with the phone zoomed out as far it would go.


"Isn't it supposed to be green?"

releasing the cast

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”


The lemniscate coming out of the mould. The mould failed in several places, you can see the spots of plaster stuck to the body at the top left and the mid right. Also the broken broken mould at top right.

While all this was going on I was also visiting the studio, just not as often as I would have liked.

the three pieces fressh from the destroyed mould


The lemniscate almost fully released and in three pieces with very large cast marks where the mould failed to match accurately.

plaster cleaned off


The three pieces of the lemniscate after a first wash. The breaks are pretty much face to face, there are no air gaps, so I should be able to fit the pieces together and fix with epoxy.

grinding the three sections


The cast marks were ground off the separate pieces while I worked out what to do to tie them together.

fixing the breaks


The fixing process for the three pieces, metal rods are drilled into the sections fixed with clear epoxy.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"

the assembled cast


The three sections fixed together, the epoxy will cure overnight and the piece should be ready for polishing.

cleaned, and a first polish


The lemniscate after a first polish and the removal of the excess rebar.

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

the workshop – the aftermath


The aftermath in the working space as I move back closer to the house.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"

the reduced plinth


The plinth with the lighting solution being installed.

“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”


“Isn’t it supposed to be green?”

This is why I really don’t like commissions, there is a apparently a requirement for the piece to be green as this is integral to the original design. I had no idea that this was the case and found out on Friday, the 8th September, so now it will be green. It will be a bit more of a sap green than the viridian above.

"It's supposed be green isn't it?"

sanding and polishing as much as possible in the limited time available


Sanding the piece as smooth as possible in the limited time available.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"



Now, it is green, having searched through six year old emails I found the relevant design sheet.

Victoria Hardman’s design sheet


I have a note somewhere about displaying the figure of eight horizontally so people would recognize it as infinity, but it just hadn’t registered that ‘green’ was referring to the colour and the eco credentials.

Isn't it supposed to be green

plinth with original top


The final part of the project was to fix the plinth so that light shines up onto the lemniscate.

Interestingly the support tubes on the plinth above are 540mm apart.

cured lemniscate


The posts fixed to the lemniscate here are 530mm apart. The resin continues to cure and the piece has contracted by 10mm over the past week. So this meant I needed to make a new top for the plinth.

"Isn't it supposed to be green?"

Organ Donation Memorial for NHS Barnsley


This is the final piece with the new top and lights fitted, all that remained was for the lemniscate to be given a coat of lacquer to seal the colour.



Lockdown Seven (another lazy post)

Update on the #draweverydayinmay2020

I kept going until I had 31 days worth, and I’ve drawn on the two days since, the link takes you to the completed gallery.

So this is a quick picture post as I went protesting on Sunday when I would normally have written a post.

Tuesday I started a painting and worked on the first garden in the VR world that has a working title of ‘et in arcadia ego’


starting tthe painting

Glover Street Yard

On Wednesday I ran and then worked in the garden. I spent the afternoon getting frustrated with the VR – it’s always about adjusting the scale to make the world realistic. (as an aside I bought a copy of MakeVR to try to build quicker but discovered that my kit isn’t upto it, it works so slowly it defeats the object of using it.)

Thursday I carried on painting and modelling.

Under painting

I carried on painting on Friday

Friday painting

On Saturday I worked on the model, changing textures (sourced from old family photographs)

Glover Street Model

The I finished the painting and entered it into a competition locally – online so maybe not just local – I had to submit a photoof me in the studio alongside it.

The artist in his studio [old codger]

The finished(!) painting looks like this…

withered rose

Lockdown Five (a continuing, if erratic, saga)

A bit of a mixed couple of weeks (12 days as I’m writing) doing a variety of different things.

Lots of gardening, lots of preparation for a series of small sculptures – nothing to show there yet – drawing, painting and so on.

Looking through Instagram, which I just rejoined, I came across #draweverydayinmay2020 run by ‘Marigold the Maker’ under the auspices of The Big Draw. Part of it is to use the additional hashtag #stillpointsketchingchallenge and place some creative limitations on your daily sketching. I decided to use Autodesk Sketchbook to produce all the drawings on my iPad, work between 9:00 am and 10:00 am each day and remain in my seat at the kitchen table.

painting of lemons

Teaching myself to paint

I also bought myself some boards, 5mm ply 25 cm square, to do some small paintings, just to keep my hand in. These lemons were started the same day I drew the two in the dish in the gallery.

I also applied for the Yorkshire Sculpture International Network 2020, which is a set of online meetings fortnightly from June until October where Each of the participating artists will be invited to contribute to developing the content of the network’s programme and to the research and development for the next Yorkshire Sculpture International festival. This programme will enable us to ensure we are building the future artists’ professional development in the most useful way for artists.” I should find out if I’m successful next week, I can’t imagine there will be many people my age applying.

ArtBomb Video  

Flickr Video

Art Bomb Video

I’m posting this again to remind myself, the arts group I did this with has done a zoom meeting with all the videos played, I wasn’t invited (or I missed the email?) I know it’s not great but it would have been nice to be asked.