I’ve read that everything we ever experience is stored away in our brain somewhere. All the songs, pretty flowers, car horns, piles of dog crap, bowls of chocolate chip mint ice cream, dumb sci-fi movies, steam burns, Thanksgiving dinners – everything we’ve ever noticed and didn’t notice – is recorded. At some point I guess we’re walking around with a pretty impressive portion of the world in our heads.
One theory about creativity is that inspiration comes from a mixture of these kernels of life rearranged into something new. Our senses are constantly processing input from everything around. We’re making little tools in our heads to solve some problem in the future or we’re trying to find meaning in an often confusing life.
As each of us experience the world in our unique way, storylines begin to emerge. The sculptures I make are probably a snapshot from one of these stories. Just some strange idea that rattles around for a while. I turn it over and over and over, and at some point I begin to see what it might be and what story it might want to tell.
When I get one of these ideas, I begin to draw and paint digitally to work out a plan. I use research, do some color study, and try to mine out the parts of the concept that I think are the most interesting. By the time I’m done with the painting I have a good idea of what I’m making. Most of the prints I have available are the final versions of these paintings.
Next I render the concept in poly-clay and whatever else is necessary. During this part of the process I’m solving engineering problems (usually making sure it stands up without falling) and getting the form the way I want. When I’m happy I begin to make molds from silicone, which often involves chopping the original up into pieces.
When the molds are finished I begin casting in whatever material makes sense, which is usually some type of resin. Resin is a polymer, basically a plastic. People use it to make tons of different things, from movie props to prototypes for inventions, action figures and designer toys, and even to fix teeth. I use it because I can make anything I want out of it in my studio, and the result is reasonably durable.
By the time I’m finished casting in resin, the piece is about 60% of the way to being finished. From here there’s a build process in which I remake the original form with sanding, attaching, priming, sanding, and more sculpting, and more sanding.
I then paint using acrylics with an airbrush and by hand. Some of the sculpts have a few different skins, or I come up with an alternate color scheme later, but for the first one I tend to stick to the painting.
The final step is to put a finish onto the sculpture to protect the paint. It also makes it shiny, which I like.
These pieces are all hand-made from beginning to end. There is no industrial process involved. Since there is only so much time in the day, and since I’m always developing new things, they are all limited editions. To this date there are less than 10 of any one of these sculptures in existence, and I think the editions will always be small.
Almost everything is a story. It’s the basis of our communication. We get these random and strange ideas that may offer insight into something funny or scary or joyous or ridiculous about life as we experience it. I have an interest in turning these ideas into objects that really exist in the world. Something you can pick up, hold in your hand, and hopefully think some thoughts of your own about.