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.
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.
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 isin 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!
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.
I have been having some technical difficulties with the web site, which, are (I hope) rectified, at this point. So… on ward! I am working on a new series of small scale bronze sculptures, incorporating “the man in the suit,” as I refer to him, and some found objects that will all be cast into metal soon. The plaster figure is ready for molding, which will take place this week, and waxes of the other components are ready for delivery to the foundry, so I hope to have castings by the end of August. At that point, I will begin designing and assemblage work. Both of these actions take place at the same time, as the sculpture design is not yet determined. I’m planning on a series of 3 in this particular set of sculptures. More on all this soon. Stay tuned!
For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on creative projects for my wife’s participation in the annual “Farm Chicks Show,” which was this past weekend in Spokane. Now that’s done, and I’m off and running with creating new sculpture! I am in the middle of pouring new waxes for casting into bronze so that I have parts of objects to foster new sculptural forms. In addition to these objects, I will be making some very small figures directly out of wax to cast up, and later combine these various elements into completed pieces. Wax work is always a challenge with local temperatures at 100 degrees outside and about 85 degrees in the studio, but I will prevail! Stay tuned for updates on the new sculptures and other news.
Having lost my mother recently, in amongst the grieving process, I remember how she kept me in art supplies when I was a kid. I built sculptural objects from cardboard, paper, balsa wood, wire, and whatever else I could lay my hands on at the time. When she asked a coworker what to do with this crazy artist person, he told her to keep me supplied with stuff to create with. It didn’t have to be fancy, especially since we didn’t have much money at the time. Among all that cardboard, glue, and tape, she also used to get the left-over rolls of newsprint paper from the Tri-City Herald. I could roll that out and draw any size I wanted! Great days!
I have been carving and finishing an old stone carving, as I have been reflecting on my mother’s life. She passed away last Sunday, and I remember, among other things, that she was my first contact, when I arrived in the Tri-City area 24 years ago. Mom had purchased a stone piece that I had created while living in Colorado, and, in turn, donated that piece to the City of Richland’s public art collection. “Dreamer,” as the sculpture is entitled,now resides in the Richland Public Library, on the second floor of their new facility. Although the current stone piece is a different sculpture, it has the same subject matter as the library piece. Carving is always a good reminder about how sculpture is, fundamentally, the manipulation of light and dark. So: Here’s to Mom! We’ve come full circle.
There’s a reminder of just how sophisticated ancient peoples were in the field of metalurgy discussed in the March/April issue of “Archaeology” magazine. The article comments on how the ancient Egyptians made jewelry beads from iron sourced from meteorites! These kinds of discoveries never fail to impress upon me just how far in the past complex metal working is and how creative ancient civilizations could be, given what we consider today to be “primitive” technology. These ancient beads were considered, in their time, as more valuable than gold, since the production of any iron based objects was rare and only for the ruling class individuals. These objects very likely also had ceremonial/spiritual functions, as the source material literally came from the sky.