Gallery 21 is your Official Dealership of Edge Sculpture by Matt Buckley for the Salisbury area.
Matt Buckley started off his sculpting career nearly 30 years ago having been presented with the opportunity to hone his craft at Robert Harrop Designs by working on the ‘Country Companions’ and later named ‘ Doggie People’ range which resided successfully within the ‘giftware’ and ‘collectible’ industry for well over 30 years.
Previous licensed figurines that Matt has both personally sculpted and resided over include the Beano and Dandy, Camberwick Green, Roald Dahl, Bagpuss, 2000 AD, The Magic Roundabout, Mr Benn, Wallace and Gromit, Doctor Who and Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray.
Matt remains the Creative Director of Robert Harrop Designs Ltd and indeed the skills and ability to manufacture quality figurines from within their family run company in Shropshire has enabled his collection of work to become a reality and Edge Sculpture to thrive.
“Edge Sculpture has evolved and developed significantly over the past eight years or so from its humble beginnings in my garden shed in damp old England. However, I am going back over twenty years when initially in my head I had the concept for a range of bold and primeval pieces, that although having a soul and presence, had very much a primitive and natural finish to them.
My first piece was actually a Bull Terrier Head, a subject which I was very familiar with from the collectibles scene as Creative Director of Robert Harrop Designs Ltd. This enabled me to best demonstrate this new style of work to an existing audience with the firm belief that nothing proves the validity of an idea better than to actually physically sculpt one and most certainly the best way to gauge opinion.
Another huge factor was that I wanted to create a style of work that could actually be put into production that not only retained all of the integrity of a Fine Art Statement Piece, yet also deliver it to the customer at more affordable ‘everyman and everywomen’ prices.” – Matt Buckley – Sculptor
The Process In Creating An Edge Sculpture
Research & Design:
This, of course, means any design can at most only be hinted at within the confines of a sketch and instead a piece really develops on the turntable alone, keeping the reference material down to a minimum and relying far more on the mind’s eye as a source of aesthetic judgement.
To be able to evolve a sculpt with the energy and fluidity required means that a sturdy armature is needed. Its primary purpose is to have the strength to hold the weight of wet clay as it is violently formed into its desired shape with such purpose that leaves a deliberate rawness within the body of every piece. Of course, the composition is incredibly important and the engineering paramount in order to make a figure that stands solidly and without weakness so that an appropriate thickness of clay can be maintained throughout.
We pride ourselves in our ability to keep the integrity of the original clay sculpture alive so nothing is more important than the first rubber mould. To harness the sheer weight of the material and avoid leakage we have to construct a very strong and perfectly sealed case to shroud the piece as closely as possible. Cut-lines are predetermined and appropriate bleeds are added to allow any trapped air to escape and only then can we begin to pour in the pre-vacuumed liquid rubber. Once the rubber has hardened the Mould is then skilfully cut allowing the removal of the now surplus clay sculpture.
A special mixture of marble stone is then patiently poured into the prepared master mould, which is then lowered into a vacuum chamber to aid the bleeding process to remove those unwanted air bubbles that still may otherwise reside within the casing. Once cured and properly hardened, the cast can be removed to reveal the first clean sample.
Fettling, Sandblasting & Levelling:
To prepare for painting a cleaning process begins where one of our ever-diligent fettlers will eliminate any unwanted mould lines and undesirable casting residue using small speed adjustable drills, knives and sanding blocks. Any pieces made in several parts are then assembled using steel pins, resin and glue before being levelled and then finally sand-blasted in order to give it a slight key.
Painting & Finishing:
The piece then finds its way back to the Design Studio in order to complete its journey through the development phase. The colour patterns are developed and the chosen hues applied until a Studio Master is created. This is ultimately the piece with which all subsequent production pieces are compared against, to maintain our excellent level of continuity.