For many years I sculpted in wood, replicating the wonderful masks and bowls of Northwest Coast tribes. But I switched to modeling in clay in order to gain greater freedom to experiment. Wood is not suitable for human figures with extended arms and legs, the kind of sculptures I wanted to create.
My sculptures usually require working with an artist's model for four or five sessions. The poses themselves can come from anywhere: a magazine photo, a dance performance, my imagination, or the model and me working together. The modeling sessions are followed by additional time spent refining the sculpture's surface and details. If the modeling is in water-based clay, it is fired in a kiln to at least 2100 degrees. At this temperature, clay is transformed into ceramic or terracotta. The fired piece is either left unchanged or is coated with actual bronze or copper powders that can be treated to give the look of weathered metal. All of these pieces are one-of-a-kind. If the work is modeled in oil-based clay, it must be surrounded by a mold and cast in a permanent material, usually bronze. These pieces can be reproduced in limited editions.
The sculptures shown here celebrate the human body's infinite variety of curves and volumes, intriguing shadows, and dramatic tensions. Unlike some contemporary art, they are not statements about social or political issues. They avoid cuteness and sentimentality and aim for unusual poses that provide unexpected visual experiences. I invite viewers to move around the pieces, to enjoy them as three-dimensional objects in space.
The human body has attracted the attention of artists since the very beginnings of art. Nevertheless, the best figure sculpture can still surprise and delight. I hope to create works of art that evoke these same responses.