Laura McEwan’s Outcome REMLA (4)

October 11, 2017by lauramcewanNewsRoyal Engineers Museum and Archive (17/18)


Varnishing is the way to go, as I didn’t find the shiny result I had hoped for with the PVA, yacht varnish was suggested to me, a I wanted a thick coat.

When I returned home that day, I went into Wilkinsons and brought two tins, as there wasn’t much left on the shelf and got straight to work. Its intended use is on outdoor furniture, and it had a very strong smell. So I set up my work station in the garden.

I first did a layer on my test pot, incase something went wrong or I didn’t like the outcome. I was extremely pleased with the finish and how the tint of the varnish ages the pot, and how the wrinkles from the tissue paper are darker.  

Onto my final pieces, the instructions on the tin recommend 2-3 coats, I did the first coat on the cylindrical vase first, and because it was my first full vase I coated, each time I did it on the other vases I got better.

I finished with 2 coats in the end because the cylinder vase was already darker than the other too, and I didn’t wish to make the other two darker because I was thrilled with their outcome. I don’t think it matters too much about one being darker because it is hand made craft, and the beauty of that is everything will look different. Now they are shiny they look museum/gallery ready.

I am so pleased with the outcome, and I have come a long way from the brightly coloured tacky vase from earlier.

The titles are as follows: (all taken from journals in the archive) ¥ The end came sudden (skull vase) ¥ Remnants of a riot (dead bodies vase) ¥ Among the grapefruit (landscape vase)

I loved the poetic fluency of the descriptions from this particular journal, thats what drew me to them, others were too literal, there would be a photo of a mountain and underneath it would say ‘a photo of a mountain’. Things like that clearly wouldn’t work.

As a set they are called, The Sign of Three.

They represent the fragility of human life, the experiences we live out (represented by the travel photos) and how underneath everything we are all the same. Life is transient.

I look forward to displaying these pieces at the exhibition with my fellow REMLA group.