Are you nervous about breaking off a piece that you really needed? Yes. And no. But mostly yes.
What’s your favorite medium or material to work with? There is just something special about marble that resonates with me. It is a favorable hardness in that it still takes hard work to break it, but yet it moves about as quickly as I would want it to. As a material, marble has a richness to it that other materials don’t have. Maybe it’s the crystalline structure, maybe it’s the subtle translucency. It fits my temperament more closely than some of the others do. And yet each material has a unique quality that may make it particularly suitable for specific projects. Granite has a strength and durability that makes it the most suitable stone for enduring outdoor work. Alabaster has a delicacy and vibrant beauty to the stone itself (just polish it and you’ve got a nice sculpture). Limestone is fast and non-precious, and it shows off the formal elements in light and shadow that are so fascinating to a sculptor. Wood has a warmth to it that stone can’t provide, as well as the strength of the fibers that allow me to make intricate pieces that might be too risky in stone. Bronze offers me the ability to be much more dynamic with poses and support structures, since I don’t have to worry about breaking off those pieces I really needed!
Do you do work on commission? Yes. About half of my work is done on commission, the other half is done on speculation for galleries.
What is the process for commissioning a sculpture? It begins with a conversation. A phone call or an email with a brief inquiry will be more than sufficient to get me thinking about the best process for your project. More often than not, a person falls in love with my work and has a space where they imagine that one of my pieces would be a perfect fit. Then they ask me, “Can you think of something that might work well here?” I often consider the uniqueness of the space and think about it the way a designer would think about it; assessing scale, color, textures, material, budget. Once those parameters have been determined, I often have fun conversations about whatever the particular client is interested in. We always find a mutually fascinating abstract subject, ranging from scientific discoveries to politics to philosophy or history and we spend some time feasting on the ideas. From these conversations a formal idea will begin to emerge as an illustration or a series of sketches. From these sketches we typically land on one or two that appear promising. I will further develop those sketches into a proposal that fits within the parameters determined at the beginning. By that point, working out the terms of the project is a smooth process and a simple contract can be drawn up and commenced.
I am interested in learning how to carve stone. Do you provide training or mentorship programs? Yes – programs can be custom-built to meet your needs and schedule. I offer individual training as well as the occasional public workshop. Check the LSH Learning Opportunity Page for new class announcements. Contact me here to get started on a personal program. Carving is a wonderful and rewarding skill to learn!
Where can I go see your work? For gallery work, you can go to:
Heartland Art Club in Kirkwood, MO. http://HeartlandArtClub.org/
For public work you can visit:
Mercy Hospital in Saint Louis, MO,
Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, KS
Missouri Botanical Gardens, Saint Louis, MO
Bellefontaine Cemetery in Saint Louis, MO
And every now and then I host a show at my studio in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis. Please consider joining our mailing list to make sure you are up to date on happenings at the studio.