I sculpt animals in various poses due to the way they can instantly connect the audience to an emotional feeling state. At a glance the sculptures expression can bring about internal and sometimes audible reactions in the viewer. When we relate to animals they can instantly connect us to the core of an emotion without any of the usual attachments, personal filters and judgements placed on human subjects. Especially for those who have shared a deep bond with one. Using an approachable subject allows me to attempt to explore and express human inner states of being, both dark and light, and our interactions with one another and the feelings those interactions bring about. Human connection is hard wired into our species, yet it is something that causes both struggle and comfort throughout life. I strive to make work that inspires the viewer to let down their protective walls and touch on vulnerable feeling states. The piece titled Hug, is of two dogs leaning in to one another in the act of holding and being held, one of protection, saftey, and connection. The kind of connection shared between two individuals who are momentarily at peace, loved and held in each others being. A state the viewer can sink into, for just a moment.
I began making animal sculpture while studying ceramic sculpture at Northern Clay Center. Animals have always been an inspiration, source of joy and deep connection. I seem to bond deeply with their spirits. Sketching from life, taking photos, and studying video are a very big part of my process. They allow me to explore the anatomy, musculature, kinseology, and gesture of these domesticated animals.
The pieces are handcrafted in earthenware clay in a labor intensive process. First a small model is built. I use the model to work out the pose, then scale up, to construct an armature for the full sized piece. The sculpture is built with solid clay held up by a supporting armature of pipe and wooden supports. Once initially sculpted, it is partially dried, so it is firm enough to be cut into pieces, the pieces hollowed out, then reassembled. The surface is gone over to touch up after being handled and put back together, then it is allowed to slowly, thoroughly dry, then it's fired to nearly 2000 degrees. Some of the sculptures are too large or akward to fire all in one piece, so they may be fired in parts. If this is the case, after firing it's reassembled. Then it will be painted with acrylic paint.
I am currently taking commissions and making work for exhibition. Please contact me for more informationEmail me at:
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