In April 2017 I won the design challenge to create the Canadian Legend Award initiated by the Canadian College of Performing Arts, owned and operated by The Canadian Heritage Arts Society. The winning design was called “Wings of Inspiration” and was inspired by the very nature of performing arts – using your body as a messenger (that’s why I included the stylized human form in the composition) and letting inspiration (Wings) take you high into the skies and let your spirit soar.
Working together with the Award Committee we decided to have the award made in fine white porcelain with golden wings in order to make the statuette look visually light. The process of creating the master model was very exciting but challenging at the same time. I had only a few weeks to find the perfect balance between the iconic whole and the details including surface texture. Since any commission of this kind involves input from both parties (an artist and the commissioner), I was very happy to find an active and helpful partner in the Award Committee. We communicated ideas all the time until the best solution was found. Then I had to go through all necessary technological steps to transform a plasticine maquette into the porcelain sculpture. Several plaster models and molds were made. Eventually I poured liquid porcelain slip into the final plaster mold to get a few casts of the sculpture. I made four porcelain sculptures in order to test different glazes and gold luster patterns and also to be safe in case some works get damaged or deformed during firings. Each piece then went through three firings in the ceramic kiln including high fire one (1260 degrees Celsius or 2305 Fahrenheit). The statuette of choice then was mounted onto a cherry wood base and a memorial plaque was attached to it later.
The Canadian Legend Award recognizes individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to Canadian culture through performing arts. David Foster became the inaugural recipient of the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ Legend Award on June 30th, 2017.