Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Media Highlights and Project Updates

The exhibition of Fire and Ice: Marine Corps Art from Afghanistan and Iraq has garnered some very nice reviews and media exposure. The James A. Michener Art Museum has two television and one radio piece posted to the exhibit's webpage on their site. So, if you'd like to see me in front of the camera and microphone go to http://www.michenermuseum.org/exhibits/fire-and-ice.php

Sculpture by Charles Sargeant Jagger

At the moment I'm working on two new sculptures. I've been particularly inspired by a WWI British sculptor named Charles Sargeant Jagger. In 1935 he published a "how to" book, which I was able to purchase through Amazon.com. His technique involves doing a full unclothed figure followed by dressing it in both uniform and gear.

Last month I attended an ecorche workshop at Studio Incamminati, a Philadelphia fine arts atelier, conducted by painter Robert Liberace. The term ecorche had never crossed either my mind or lips prior to signing up for this incredible class. Ecorche is French for flayed. Robert showed us how to create a figure from the bones up. His working knowledge of the skeleton and muscular system was as expansive as mine was lacking. So....I'm trying to make up for lost time. Here are the two pieces I have in progress.
Figure done in sculpey over wire armature. The sculpey can be heated with a hot air gun and hardened as you build up layers.

240 Gulf Machine Gunner-work in progress, plasticine over a sculpey/wire armature. I built the boots piece by piece, starting with the sole, adding the heel cup, and then the tongue and side panels. Right at the end I'll add the boot laces. The leg at the left will have a drop holster added, hence the flattened pocket. The right leg cargo pocket is hanging low.....bursting with everything from extra food to ammunition and AA batteries.

. Battle Pause in Husayba

Another medium I'm experimenting with is called yupo. Yupo is a synthetic paper that's very adaptable to watercolor. It allows for dramatic "puddleing" effects and its brillant white surface is the ideal compliment for watercolors.

Overwatch, New Ubaydi, Operation Steel Curtain-watercolor on yupo

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Final Process and Finished Product.....In Bronze

Here is the final process and finished version of my first foray into sculpture. The local foundry that cast the piece is renowned for their skill in the lost wax technique. "The Skipper" now resides in the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Conway's office at the Pentagon.

The mold from which the wax casting is created.
The wax figure is touched up. The throat protector had to be molded seperately.

The wax figure coated and ready for the bronze pouring.

Initial bronze version fresh out of the mold prior to the patination process.

Sandblasted and ready for the patina to be applied.

Highly skilled foundry craftsman, RJ, preparing the surface.

Figure ready for the application of the final patina.

Whole figure heated........
Sprayed with acid......
.....and buffed out by hand using scotch bright and steel wool. This process is repeated multiple times.
Patina complete......almost.

Last step........heated paste wax.