Monday, 30 July 2012

#291 In the foundry: "Moose Flats", con't . . .



The sprewed wax panel is now in the shell room at the foundry where it is dipped in a liquid ceramic shell slurry then covered in sand.  The first coat of slurry is thin which picks up every detail in the wax panel.  The dipping and sand process is repeated several times using thicker slurry and allowed to dry between each dip.

At right, a technician holds the wax panel by the sprews and dips into the slurry.

Below, the wax panel has been dipped in slurry and is then dusted with sand.

To learn more about this project, start with Post #274.









Saturday, 28 July 2012

#290 In the foundry: "Moose Flats" con't . . .


Wax tubes - called sprews - are "wax-welded" to the panel with a soldering iron before going to the shell room.

To learn more about this project, start with Post #274.


Friday, 27 July 2012

#289 In the foundry: "Moose Flats" con't . . .


After the wax cools and hardens, the wax panel is removed
from its rubber mold.  See picture at right.

Below, note the wax panel is an exact copy of the clay model that depicts a portion of the moose's nose.




To learn more about this project, start with Post #274.



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

#288 In the foundry: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The 70 Moose Flats molds are in the wax room at the foundry.  
Several coatings of hot wax are poured inside each mold panel 
until the thickness of the wax reaches approximately 1/8 of  inch.

To learn more about this project, start with Post #274.    

Monday, 23 July 2012

#287 In the foundry: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The Moose Flats molds are now in the foundry which is only 5 miles from my studio.  Like most sculptors, I am tethered to a foundry "mother-ship" and I located my studio headquarters and home in Lander, Wyoming to be near the foundry
I have worked with since the late 1980's.  

The connection between the sculptor and the foundry determines the final product and the success of the work depends on the close collaboration between the two.

Below, molten bronze being poured at Eagle Bronze Foundry eaglebronze.com
To learn more about this project, start with Post 274.



Sunday, 22 July 2012

#286 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .




What comes from the artist's hand - the clay model - is destroyed in the mold-making process.

Below, the colossal  monument has been stripped of hundreds of pounds of clay and the foam armature is ready to be broken down and taken to the dump.





To learn more about this project, start with post #274.


Friday, 20 July 2012

#285 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .



At right, mold panel #24, bearing my signature, has been
pulled from the model and is ready to be cleaned.

For more information about this project, start with post #274.



There is nothing to it.
You only have to hit the right notes at the right time
and the instrument plays itself.
                                            -Johann Sebastian Bach






Thursday, 19 July 2012

#284 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .



The rubber molds are cleaned with a pressure washer before delivery to the foundry.  In the distance, the moose armature devoid of clay, can be seen.

The molds, labeled and loaded, are taken to the foundry 5 miles away.
For more information about this project, start with post #274.


Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.
                                                                    - Horace



Wednesday, 18 July 2012

#283 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The rubber molds are now encased in a rigid foam covering and an electric saw is used to expose the shims.  Start with post #274 to learn more about this project.  Click on picture to enlarge.

Next, the individual rubber and foam-jacketed panels are removed.  Below right the clay is pulled off and stored in bins for later use. Below left, notice the steel armature and the styrofoam material that was used to block in the large shapes before the clay was applied and modeled.


Monday, 16 July 2012

#282 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


After the rubber sets up, a rigid foam jacket is sprayed over the rubber mold.  The foam hardens and is similar to insulation that is sprayed in buildings.  The jacket will hold the rubber mold in place and provide support while wax is poured or painted into the panels at the foundry.  The foundry is only 5 miles from the studio and as you read this post, the casting process is underway.  Over the past few weeks, many long hours have been spent at the foundry.  Delivery to the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY is scheduled for Aug. 8 while Trish and I are in Alaska; see post #273. wildlifeart.org/

At right, Trish, an accomplished mold maker, oversees and assists with the mold making process in the monument studio at our Lander, WY studio headquarters.


For more information regarding this project, start with Post #274.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

#281 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The crew works quickly to spread the liquid rubber evenly before it starts to "cure" and set up.  
All 3 coats must be applied within 5 hours to prevent delamination between the coats.
For more information regarding this project, start with Post #274.




Saturday, 14 July 2012

#280 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .



Above, shims separate the mold panels as liquid rubber is sprayed onto the Moose Flats monument, below.
For more information regarding this project, start with Post #274.




Thursday, 12 July 2012

#279 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The sculpture, divided into 70 panels and separated by shims,
is ready to be spray-coated with rubber mold material.
See previous posts  #274-278.

At left, a panel guide is drawn on a resin-cast maquette to
assist the foundry when assembling and welding the bronze panels together.

Below, plastic sheeting surrounds the monument, thus preventing overspray from contaminating the studio, as Trish checks the shims before spraying begins.  Note, the antlers and the right ear have been removed and will be molded separately.






Wednesday, 11 July 2012

#278 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The sculpture is divided into 70 panels which will be cast individually in bronze and then assembled and welded together.  Before bronze casting however, a rubber mold must be made to create a wax replica of each panel of the colossal monument.  The lines drawn on the head indicate where the shims will be placed to separate the panels. 
On the far left, notice a shim has been placed on the neck as I do last minute touch-ups before the rubber is sprayed.

To learn more about this project, start with Post #274.



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

#277 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


Proportion gives the individual animal its character and type and measurements differ according to breeds and species.  The head length should be used as a comparative measurement for other parts of the body.

Accentuate the individual animal's characteristics and group details into masses. What is it about the shape and silhouette that causes identification of the critter? 

Great masses, great planes - strong, clear silhouette.
Detail: Only the essential. 






Sunday, 8 July 2012

#276 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


Two types of clay were used because I ran out of gray clay.
Monuments require understood and defined masses, shapes, and simplified form.  The artist must spend long hours, studying the figure and modeling under different lighting conditions.

Creating a monument is physically demanding work and working on scaffolding and ladders can be dangerous.  Dropping a tool is a curse and the sculptor must remember not to step back and admire their work.


One must do the same subject over again ten times.
 In art nothing must resemble an accident, 
not even movement.
                                                        - Edgar Degas




Saturday, 7 July 2012

#275 In the studio: "Moose Flats", con't . . .


The Moose Flats monument was completed this year and will be installed and dedicated next month at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  Gift of Joy and Tony Greene, the colossal sculpture ranks among my favorite works.

Building and modeling a large-scale monument is physically demanding.  Even though
I work from a smaller study (maquette), design and proportion changes must be addressed.  Monument design requires a strong, clear silhouette; the great masses and planes should be simplified and above all, the essence of the animal should be the sculptural goal.




Note:  Photographing the large sculpture at close range presented foreshortening 
of the turned head and caused it to appear larger than it actually is.


Friday, 6 July 2012

#274 In the studio: "Moose Flats"


Moose Flats was created 13 years ago and the maquette (study) quickly sold out.
Several years ago Joy and Tony Greene commissioned the sculpture to be enlarged into a monument for the new Sculpture Trail at the National Museum of Wildlife Art
located in Jackson, Wyoming.  See posts #260-263, June 17-20, 2012.


Shown below, is a picture of the maquette published in the
July issue of Western Art Collector.  
The size printed is the size of the monument.




Wednesday, 4 July 2012

#273 In the field: Arctic Alaska Art & Adventure


I've been invited to participate in an artist canoe expedition on the Noatak River in the Western Brooks Range, Alaska. Trish and I will spend the month of August on the first of two Alaskan artistic adventures.  The 419 mile river's course
is north of the Arctic Circle and empties into Kotzebue Sound.

There's access to expedition real-time tracking  . . . depending day to day on satellite signal quality.  To learn more about the project go to this link:


This photo taken by Robert Stein III, south of the town of Noatak near the mouth of the river.  

Monday, 2 July 2012

#272 Remarque: "Above Timberline", con't. . .


Designing and creating large scale outdoor monuments is "dream-work" for most sculptors, myself included.  The process is the culmination of bringing sculpture
and nature together in a site-specific setting.



Art is a bold attempt to put life in its proper place.
Art alone can protect us from the humiliating dangers of real life.
                                                                                - Oscar Wilde


Shown below is Above Timberline, ready for installation at Wilcox Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming



Sunday, 1 July 2012

#271 Remarque: "Above Timberline", con't. . .


Shown below, is the Above Timberline monument in clay.  See yesterday's post, #270.

The sculpture is designed to be mounted on a metal frame and installed with natural terrain and dry-stacked rock.  
The work is site-specific;  landscaping an elevated berm enhances the visual impact.

Note the plaster maquette with the chipped leg.  I love working from a plaster model, as I was taught in art school . . . subtle planes and shadows are revealed with low lighting.