Spring Cleaning?

One of the mundane, but useful tasks for me is to edit my studio storage of: old molds, junk I haven’t used in 10 years or more, and even recycling older bronzes and steel pieces into new works. I guess it’s all part of shedding my old skin and reemerging into the world of spring, which, is right around the corner. The days are getting longer, and the bulbs are emerging through the frosty mornings. The picture here of the worker figure (a secondary casting of the piece I did years ago, located in downtown Kennewick, WA.) is a reminder of the labors of spring time and the following summer growing season, which I am looking forward to. Let’s hope it isn’t too hot for too long!

"Laborer" by Tom in our garden next to the studio
“Laborer” by Tom in our garden next to the studio

Up and Running

With the help of the Fat Cow team (my hosting agency), I have the web site up and running again. There are still a few tweeks to finalize the shape of the site, but,meanwhile, let’s move on. I am currently working on creating another series of sculptures with the Man in the Suit. I have a long way to go before I know just how these pieces will look, but I am in the process of molding the plaster original of the figure and sketching out ideas. I have other irons in the fire, as usual, including my on-going search for commissions, both public and private, as well as some possible exhibiting opportunities, and I will keep you informed about those. I’m including a photo here:

Latest version of man in suit with clay dam for mold making to begin.
Latest version of man in suit with clay dam for mold making to begin.

Web Site Troubles

Hello out there, and particularly to those of you who follow my blogging efforts. I apologize for the current condition of the web site. We have been having troubles, including some security issues, most of which have been resolved. That’s the good news. I will be working to reinstate my portfolio of artwork for each of the pages over the next week, so please be patient. There will be more news and great stuff to look at soon. I was born before computer technology and I am learning as I go to maintain the site, and, thus, it takes me a while to get it all done, but I will prevail!

It IS all relative!
It IS all relative!

It’s All Relative

As I bid you all a Happy New Year, I have to say that It is all relative! After going through several major design changes, the sculpture I created a few years ago entitled “It’s All Relative,” has settled into its final form, and less is truly more. The piece began as a slightly larger than life sized figurative sculpture, combining cast bronze with welded stainless steel in a very complicated vertical form. A while back, I dispensed with the stainless steel part of the design and, thus, reduced the size to about 1/3rd of its original mass. This past week, I decided to simplify the sculpture, and boil it down to its most important features that really makes the statement I wanted all along. Now the sculpture is quite small at about 14 inches in height, without the base, and as a whole, has a much stronger design presence.
Who says, we don’t keep learning? I think I’ll make that my New Year’s resolution: to keep developing and continue trusting my intuition. Happy New Year!

"It's All Relative" 2015
“It’s All Relative” 2015

The “Man in the Suit” Series

On the physical aspects of this series of small sculptures, we have the repetition of various components: an apple, bricks, rocks, and, of course, the man in the suit, himself. Some of these small forms are found objects, and others have been modeled-usually in plaster-by me. The balance of the overall design is asymmetrical, and each of the sculptures has quite a lot of implied movement in it.
On the more psychological side of things; each sculpture stands on its own in narrating a story. As a result, each has a different title, and, within its design, has differing pictorial and textual elements. These bits of narrative information stem from my interests in such themes as: global climate change, urban planning, and ancient cultures. With such seemingly serious content, I like to balance all that out with a sense of humor. Humor in the style of the human figure, as well as the use of silly items, like a croquette ball to represent the cosmos, or some other organic system.

Detail of "Water Troubles"
Detail of “Water Troubles”

Finished!

The new series is finally finished! These three sculptures, although small in scale, have been challenging for me. Actually, it is their small scale that is the reason for the technical challenges. After years of physical work as a sculptor, carpenter, and laborer, my fingers are bigger and a little clumsier than they used to be, so working on items that require tight manipulations is not as easy as it used to be. Of course, I often say, easy is boring, so there you go. this is definitely a series, due to the use of similar visual elements in them, but each piece stands on its own as a narrative sculpture. As usual, the most fun and bigger challenge was layering the intellectual and psychological content of the work, and that is why I have taken my time with them. They need to have the right amount of serious ideas balanced with humor.

"Water Troubles"
“Water Troubles”
"Architect"
“Architect”

The New Series

As per my last blog, here are two photos of the new “man in the suit” or, what I referred to earlier, as “the pulling man.” At this point, all the casting, welding, and fabrication is done. I will be sand blasting them next and then the patina work, which will really punch them forward! I will have pics of the finished pieces soon and will show you each of the sculpture, so you can see them better than in these crowded studio shots. The titles cover a wide range of interests that I have: “Stonehenge,” “Water Troubles,” and, “Architect.” They are very dynamic little pieces, and I am excited to show them around.

Crowded view of the 3 new sculptures
Crowded view of the 3 new sculptures
IMG_0151

Coming Along

The new series of sculpture pieces is coming along. I have two of the three all put together and am finishing the last licks on tooling these in preparation for sand blasting and then patina work. I also have a good start on the third piece, but it is

The first two in the new series by Tom
The first two in the new series by Tom
in the “sketching” phase. I will likely have that one all together sometime next week. The reason these sculptures take so long to produce, if you don’t already know from previous blog information, is that I take a lot of time thinking through the layers of psychological and intellectual content, once I have some parts and pieces to physically manipulate. As with all my work, each of these sculptures is a one of a kind piece, and not meant as an edition. They are a series because they share common elements, such as the same figure, or other components, but each remains unique unto itself. And, I like to insert my humor as I go, which, some days, is hard for me to find. The second piece is more finished than in the photo. I will be back soon with newer updated pictures!

New Work

Pulling Man by Tom
Pulling Man by Tom
Finally, I have new forms in bronze and stainless and am beginning actual physical construction on a new series of small scale sculptures. As a working direction, I am temporarily calling them my “Pulling Man” series. Eventually, in the building of these pieces, each one will gain a title of its own. Right now, I have ideas swimming into my brain, but nothing concrete. It is,essentially,a sketching process using intuitive responses to technical manipulation of materials. This is how I like to work; with generalized ideas and direct assemblage of elements that will result in finished sculptures. This allows the ideas to form somewhat more spontaneously and stay fresh. Otherwise, they become reproductions of already thought out concepts, which is more restrictive to my way of thinking and responding to stimulus. Crazy and fun!

Seattle Revisited

Wow, after 40 years, an old sculpture has come out for new life. I received an interesting e-mail, the other day, from a person who is compiling historical information in regards to the Amy Yee Tennis Center in Seattle. So, you wonder, what has my art have to do with the Tennis Center? I sold a piece to the City of Seattle in 1975, when it was sited at a substation property belonging to Seattle City Light, torn down and put into storage ( in violation of my contract.) and, after 3 and 1/2 years of legal and bureaucratic nonsense, relocated at the then new Tennis Center. The last I knew, this sculpture had been decommissioned and, I assumed, thrown away. What a great reminder that, as I often say; never assume anything!
As you can see, by the photo, the piece is in very bad shape, and I hope, somehow, we can rebuild it to give the Amy Yee Tennis Center a beautiful piece of artwork they can be proud of. Time will tell.

"Beam to Beam" by Tom at the Amy Yee Tennis Center
“Beam to Beam” by Tom at the Amy Yee Tennis Center