REYNOLDS ADVANCED MATERIALS AND ITS SCULPTOR PATRONS
A yellow-green elixir that makes rubber and plastic glows in the dark. A liquid resin cures so quickly, it captures a solid freeze frame of the moment of its own pouring. Is this the Wonka factory?
Luckily, no golden ticket required, just a trip to a deceptively drab corner of northwest Boston. Welcome to Reynolds Advanced Materials, national distributor of Smooth-On brand moldmaking and casting supplies for art and industry.
Open since February, Reynolds’ newest Boston branch, based in Brighton
at 45 Electric Avenue, boasts an impressive array of rubbers, plastics,
foams and accessories for almost any moldmaking or casting challenge.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of manager Eli Mather, the branch has
already built up an impressive client base despite its relative youth as a
business. Take, for example, iRobot, the cutting-edge robotics corporation
best known for its automated vacuum cleaner, the Roomba; or Soviet-born
sculptor Konstantin Simun, whose much-lauded “Totem: America” stood in
the DeCordova Sculpture Park from 1993 to 2002.
First-time fine art customers in Reynolds’ showroom may initially think
they’re in a toy store or freak show, judging by the peculiar display
castings. Try picking up the light-as-a-feather anvil; flopping around the
silicone rubber arm; or gawking at the gory, zombie-nibbled lifecast of Mr.
Mather’s head, crafted by Reynolds’ technical advisor (and horror movie
buff) Scott Moulton. It may come as no surprise that local special effects
wizards were among the quickest to sniff out Reynolds’ new presence.
Nevertheless, Moulton — a former professional jewelry caster with an art
degree — is committed to developing Reynolds’ role in the New England
fine art community. In his view, Reynolds is instrumental in bridging the
logistical gap between an artist’s imagination and a finished sculptural
work. “They’ve conceptualized the idea,” he says, “but they don’t know
how to get to their desired endpoint.” For example, a sculptor may bring
in a clay original and wish to cast it in flexible foam. Moulton’s job is
to guide the client step by step through the process and recommend the
necessary materials for achieving the