Trimble Tech HS - Fort Worth, TX. Ms. Lopez and Mr. Gerardy's classrooms.
Cindy and I had an opportunity to participate in an "Artist in the Schools" visit this morning while in town for the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Fest. Cindy is my wife and also a professional artist. We often tag team when given the chance to visit art classes.
We believe it's important for students to be exposed to people like us who have chosen a career path in the arts. Whether they end up being artists, musicians, accountants or mechanics, the exposure to the arts in school will make them a more valuable commodity in their chosen field. The most difficult challenges are usually solved by approaching them from a unique direction. This requires a very fit right side of the brain, and strength is only gained through consistent exercise. I think of creating things as push-ups for the right brain.
We all got to work on some 3D exercises this morning. This group of AP students are working on drawing this term and many will be moving on to sculpture next year so our timing was great. After a brief presentation about us, our work, and what is involved in being a professional in any field, we were able to use the bulk of the class time carving up space. Initially we let them cut and fold a piece of paper as many times as they wanted as long as they utilized all of the cut parts. This represented additive sculpture.
We then moved on to the task of creating a free standing piece using only one cut and one fold. This represents something much more akin to reductive sculpture in that if you make a mistake your only correction is to make the piece smaller. We loved the results and the students had the joy of coming up with some terrific solutions to the challenge. Good job Trimble Tech - Go Bulldogs! And thank you to Main Street Fort Worth for encouraging Art in the Schools.
Boxelder and Sugar Maple (left rear). 5" - 8" tall; $100 - $115/vase
I started carving vases a few years ago as a means of getting some more color into my display at shows and exhibitions. Fresh flowers bring a lot to the party and are a fabulous compliment to my natural forms. It was a perfect solution to carve vases to serve this display need and an equally great solution to find a use for some of the beautiful wood cut-offs that were really too beautiful to throw away. Since then I have begun to use the process of creating these small pieces of sculpture as a warm-up exercise for my larger pieces. Much like sketching this is a means of exploring line and form while getting my head in the place it needs to be for carving my larger scale work. So here's a peek at some things from my latest sketch book.
Sugar Maple and Black Willow logs - ready to carve!
And now that I'm in the groove it's time to move on to the big dogs.
I'm a contemporary wood sculptor living and working in rural Minnesota. I gather my logs locally and travel the country selling what I make from them.