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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Kaitlyn's Cast Cameras: Making Disposable Permanent


Sculptures by Kaitlyn Donovan.  Perfect gifts for Iron Man.


PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Saturday, March 9, 2013

Art is created to last and endure.  But not most mass produced goods.

Back in the heyday of the throwaway society you could buy a cheap plastic camera that did the job but wasn't built to last.  The worse ones were one-use disposable cameras: shoot the preloaded roll, process the film, and toss the body in the trash.

Environmentalists were upset.  They forced the issue with camera companies and so disposable became recyclable.

Kaitlyn Donovan has found another way to recycle cheap plastic cameras, creating permanent works of art.  Cast iron permanent.

Besides serving as ROTA Exhibitions Coordinator Kaitlyn is also an artist/photographer who works at a Vermont camera store.  Cameras are an important focus in her life.  During the opening of the ROTA Gallery Staff Exhibit this evening she detailed the intense work involved in making her metal sculptures.


Using her Holga camera sculpture Kaitlyn Donovan explains how the mold was separated from the cast iron by cutting a flap in the back.  Her other sculptures involved prying two halves apart along a seam.

A mold is formed from each body, prepared for the pouring and shaping of molten iron.  Kaitlyn said that such sculptures can't be created by one person in an apartment kitchen.  Besides having the proper furnace at least a team of four is needed to conduct the process in an appropriate facility such as the one at Plattsburgh State.  Besides teamwork, she added, timing is critical since molten metal cools so quickly.

Kaitlyn explained how she used two different methods to create her heavy metal cameras.  Her Holga sculpture – which could be argued takes better shots than the original – used the ceramic mold method, resulting in more detail in texture and shape.  Her smaller cameras involved sand molds, a less time intensive process but with sacrifice in detail.

Why does Kaitlyn create these sculptures?  She says there are homages to old cameras, gravestones if you will.

Heft one of her cameras and you can feel the weight of solid permanence.  Just don't drop one on your foot.

*  *  *

ROTA Gallery is open daily 12 noon to 5 PM depending upon volunteer staffing.  More info at https://www.facebook.com/rotagallery or email rotagallery@gmail.com .

The ROTA Staff Exhibit will run for two weeks.  Below are other works on display, obviously stuff you won't see anywhere else.









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