We cooperate as an association to advance the practice of sculpture and the reputation and appreciation of sculpture and sculptors in the community. This is regardless of whether or not we make a living from sculpture and regardless of our preferred style or medium. To this end we support artists’ moral rights, we advocate a professional attitude to the production and presentation of work and encourage the artistic and intellectual stimulation of interaction amongst artists of all persuasions.

The June Meeting

Members were treated to a lively and informative meeting at the ASV meeting on Wednesday 14th June. Carmel Ritchie welcomed the speakers George Bonicelli and Mel Rayski-Mati. 

George demonstrating his pointing machine

First George Bonicelli spoke about his use of the pointing machine in stone. And showed how much it is still used today, with short videos demonstrating its use at the Frilli Gallery in Florence, noted for their world class production in bronze, marble and other stones. George took time to show us his Pointing machine and how to set it firmly in place, which allows a sculptor to make an exact copy at the same size of an original sculpture in wax, clay, stone or wood. It cannot be used to make bigger or smaller copies of an original. To do this there is a special version of the pointing machine. Graphic artists use a pantograph for the same purpose in scaling up or down from the original.

Wikipedia has an excellent comprehensive article under the heading "Pointing machine," which covers the topic very fully, including pointing machines using laser light that gives an audible warning when the right carving depth is reached. The latest computer guided router systems can scan a model in three dimensions, and reproduce it in almost any material and any size. George can be contacted at 0425735870 his email is stonesteelwood@hotmail.com

Mel Rayski-Mati at the ASV meeting
The next speaker, Mel is an artist mostly in metal. ​ Her business is called "Forging Ahead", making it clear that her inspiration comes from forming and shaping metal. Forging Ahead was created in 2013. Mel’s love of metal came from working in Special Effects in the film industry in 1997. Nearly twenty years on and she is still enamored of how a metal so strong can be bent, rolled and forged into objects of such finesse and beauty.

In 2010 Mel travelled to Cambodia to study metal arts and broaden her skills. It is here that she learned the art of making sculptures and wall art from many hundreds or even thousands of individual parts that would eventually create large-scale images and beautiful patterns.

In her studio sitting alongside the traditional blacksmiths tools of hammer, forge and anvil are a plasma cutter and machinery that assist with bending, rolling and folding as well as the tools and jigs she has made herself.

Mel has great versatility in her work, sculptural forms, wall art and utilitarian items such as mirrors often created from found objects and motifs of the natural world. Many of these beautiful works picturing scrolls, leaf forms and animals are suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use and are finished to a very high standard.

She likes searching through scrap metal yards to find pieces that she felt she could develop into a meaningful sculpture. She showed the group many pictures of garden art items made from cut up old water heaters, and other scrap metal pieces as well as in her home studio, which is about to be greatly enlarged. Mel can be contacted at her " Forging Ahead" studio in Hurstbridge Vic. At, info@ forgingahead.com.au, or 0466726687. Her web site is www.forgingahead.com.au

You can also follow her progress by "Liking" her business page on Facebook.www.facebook.com.au/forgingaheadmetalart and Instagram. www.instagram.com.au/forgingaheadmetalart

Report by Gordon Robertson

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