Geology Rebuilt

Tottenham Court, London
2021-2022

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A detail of the ceramic surface © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The work of Fernando Casasempere explores sculpture in its deep and fundamental relationship with environment and geology. The concept of ceramic as the art of mixing and making of different and diverse minerals, to create something new but still deeply rooted in its basic elements, is at the centre of the public art installation Geology Rebuilt, created in collaboration with Factum Arte.

Installed at Soho Place W1 on January 28, 2022, a mixed-use scheme just above Tottenham Court station in London, Geology Rebuilt aims to bring something "brutal and geological" to the city, showing a new way of rebuilding geology from ceramics. The contrast between the traditional brick wall behind the contemporary sculpture shows how different the end results of the same materials can be.

The production process followed several steps, which were coordinated by Factum's engineering team. Fernando Casasempere supplied Factum Arte with a ceramic maquette of each of the two sculptures, which were recorded using photogrammetry in Madrid and recreated as a 3D model. The model was scaled and CNC-routed in polyurethane sections, joined together with nails for testing on-site in London. Moulds of each section were prepared and Casasempere used them to create each piece separately using his own clay mixture in his London workshop. 

The final pieces were sent back to Madrid to be reinforced (using fiberglass) and assembled over a carbon steel structure engineered by Factum Arte. Due to the nature of ceramics, the connection joints had to be planned and prepared according to the potential shrinkage after the firing the raw clay. 

The final joints were finished following the artist's directions and then waterproofed. 

3D model of one of the sculptures (without colour) © Factum Arte

3D model of one of the sculptures (with colour) © Factum Arte

3D model of one of the sculptures (without colour) © Factum Arte

3D model of one of the sculptures (with colour) © Factum Arte

Javier Barreno and Juan Carlos Arias assembling the CNC-routed models © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The assembled CNC-routed test pieces © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of the polyurethane surface © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Mari Carmen Pascual working on the moulds © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The moulds in Factum's workshop © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The handmade ceramic pieces made by the artist from the moulds were shipped to Madrid © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The back and joints of each piece were reinforced in fiberglass © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The carbon steel structure was designed by Factum Arte's engineering department © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Test fit of one of the pieces onto the joints © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Fitting each piece on the structure involved careful handling of the ceramic pieces made by the artist © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The joints between the pieces were filled with grout for better cohesion © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Detail of the joints © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

Fitting each piece on the structure was a delicate task © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

One of the two Geology Rebuilt sculptures, finished © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

The two sculptures preparing to be shipped © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte


 

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