I thought that maybe you might be interested in why I create what I do and where it came from. Well, maybe the first will be a little easier to answer than the second.
I began my career as a sculptor with found stone. I would go pick up large hunks of stone from road cuts, suspend them from a frame orienting them the way I thought would be most interesting, then built a base of metal beneath making sure the stone always looked a little off center in some way. I like challenging visual perceptions...like balance. I want people to look at something and think it shouldn't be able to "be", yet it does.
When I no longer had access to a studio in which I could weld, I began carving stone and combining it with wood. I fell in love with the patterns, color, and depth of alabaster. It has a warmth and character that I've not found in other stones. In a lot of my pieces you may see that I've always tried to continue with that slightly off-balance look.
A dear friend came to visit me in my studio one day and during the course of our conversation said she was getting ready for a dinner party. She looked at the stone I had laying around, said she was tired of serving on the same old things, and asked if I could make her a bowl or platter that was "different". Not one to shy away from a challenge, I said, "sure I can." That began the evolution of my "functional sculptures"
I decided that if people would spend money on sculptures to sit on mantlepieces or on pedestals in a room, then it would be really wonderful to have pieces they could serve on or use in their homes that were sculptures as well.
In my functional sculptures, whether it's a bowl or platter or menorah, I continually work to integrate patterns and natural fractures of the stone into a piece. I like to use electric tools as little as possible. They, along with chisels, are used primarily to remove large amounts of stone to achieve a basic shape. Using power tools does allow me to "get further faster" and I'll be willing to bet that if the Masters had had power or pneumatic tools at their disposal, they would have made wonderful use of them. On the other hand, I've learned that once I get to a certain point, I have to use tools that enable me to feel the stone, with its bumps, fractures, vibrations, and sounds. This increase in sensitivity allows a little more control -- otherwise I'd have a lot more "artistic opportunities" (aka, breaking a piece) than I do now. Rather than go around or eliminate the "flaws" I like to try to use them when possible. I'd venture to say that all of you have seen the roughness of any stone "in-situ" -- the result of the natural forces that have worked on a stone. I like to use that natural state as often as I can. Besides being a great contrast to the smoothness that I work to achieve, it's a reminder that it *is* stone and the beauty of the piece begins with the beauty of nature.
I learn a lot from talking with people. They ask questions concerning my work or make suggestions that help bump me out of ruts and redirect my imagination toward different tangents. Tangents can be good in my line of work. I welcome discussion, questions, suggestions, critiques (constructive ones, please) of most any kind. If you are curious about my work and would like to enter into a dialogue, please make use of the fields below and I'll contact you as soon as possible. If you don't mind, I would like to post your comments on the site so others may join in.
I look forward to talking with you.