In late 2007 I was contacted by Adelaide artist Margaret Dodd who was planning an exhibtion of her distinctive cars in 2008 in collaboration with other artists and was looking for someone to help her with porcelain casting. In the 1970's and 80's Margaret created sculptures of Holden cars which became famous beyond the world of ceramics as they commented on womens roles and Australian identity, her most iconic work being Bridal Holden which is held in the collection of the South Australian Museum. More recently Margaret has been venturing into 3D animation and modelling and incorporating light into her new works which she wanted to make from cast porcelain. As I had previously made a range of porcelain lights and had plenty of experience with casting fine ceramic forms I was very excited to be involved in the project.
Margaret and I worked together over a period of 4-5 months grappling with the many variables involved in casting large complex forms with a porcelain slip fine enough to be translucent. Thickness and viscosity of the slip, timing of the pour, when to turn the moulds, when to open them, slumping, sagging and surface treatment were all issues we had to deal with as well as the unpredictability of our Adelaide weather. I'm not sure how many cars we made in the end, for each of the original forms made by Margaret a mould was made by a local specialist then cast in several other clay bodies as well as the porcelain. Alongside this process Margaret worked with collaborators Ian Mobbray (on cast glass pieces), Pru Morrison ( who decorated the cars with her wonderful surreal imagery in her colourful terra sigillata) and Mirek Krejci (on the computer animation). The exhibition was held at the Jamfactory, Adelaide in July - September 2008 and then went to the Ray Hughes Gallery in Sydney later that year.