Hello, Microbloggers! I’ve fully committed to the Micro.blog way, having nuked my Squarespace site and pulled everything – even my Instagram stuff – over here. A few minor hiccups, but things are at least where I want them to be.
Went for a #ride this morning at Soapstone Prairie. Such a beautiful, unforgiving landscape. The Wyoming border is maybe half a mile down that trail.
(The snow took out one of the main trunks on our apple tree. Couldn’t have landed any better; no damage to the house!)
Say it ain't so. My trusty #Spyderco #Dragonfly, in my pocket for over 5 years, has a rival! That's saying a lot, as the little Dragonfly might just be one of the best folding knife designs EVAR. WHO COULD THIS INTERLOPER BE?!?
Ok, so, yeah; I got a new truck. The one that checked most of the boxes was the Ram 1500. Classic. (Cringe) — WARLOCK!!! Now, I get that this is a callback to the historical 1970's Dodge Warlock — but why, why must all things truck be slathered with this hyper masculine, macho, manly man BULLSHIT?!? I need a truck to do my job, not to project my manly power into the world. Turning it up to 11 only makes you look laughably insecure. Stop that.
Found this old photo of a photo of a limestone carving I did 20 years ago. Can't remember the title, or where it ended up.
So, is this really all there is to a business account here? If your not on Facebook, what's the point? And if you do have a Facebook account, what does "promoting" a post actually entail?
I was 20 years old in 1986 when I walked into Dan Ostermiller’s studio and asked for a job. Up to then, I'd been helping my Dad build houses. I was young and naive and had no idea what it meant to be a professional artist, let alone understanding the much more specialized realm of the sculptor. I ground bronze and learned to weld it; we painted rubber and slung plaster to make molds; I learned pointing up and roughing in from maquette to monument. I put all this newfound knowledge to work, sculpting my own pieces and casting them in bronze.
Somehow, the artist in me that had previously enjoyed drawing and painting fell in love with form and space and shadow, and I spent every free penny I made turning my ideas into cast metal. Casting bronze is expensive, even with the discounts the foundries gave us “rats,” the green-tinged, bleary-eyed artisans who did the dirty work on the shop floor. I discovered Brancusi and stone carving, doubly excited by the cheap, plentiful medium and the thrill of turning an ugly rock into a work of art. Somewhere around this point in the timeline, Mr. Ostermiller and I had a falling out (I pissed him off) and I found myself once again walking into a sculptor’s studio to ask for a job. Kent Ullberg wasn't just the second sculptor I worked for, he became like a second father to me. The Swede opened my eyes to a more European view of the world and of art. He also entrusted me to manage his production at the foundry, as well as handling the enlargement of some of his most impressively-scaled works.
There are a many more details and people and crazy happenings to recount, but that gets too far afield from my point. The stone carving and the metal grinding and the construction work, not to mention a detour to make a few thousand Chipotle chairs for my friend Bruce, took a serious toll on my physical health. Couple that with the inevitable diminishing of aging eyesight and a restlessness to move away from committee-driven public art, and you have the perfect recipe for a personal reinvention. And so it is with a bittersweet heart that I formally end my career as a sculptor, moving forward with excitement and trepidation into a future of greater creative freedom and less physical pain. Stay tuned to see what happens on the next episode!
Got some Alpine time in today. I can feel the tension fly away on the wind as soon as I step foot above treeline.
A couple pieces of news.
First, after 25 years together, I am no longer represented by the National Sculptors' Guild and Columbine Gallery.
Second, new developers have bought the building my shop was in. So, almost 4 years to the day since I moved in, (much like Elvis) I've exited the building.
Here it was in 2014, ready to get to work:
Got to hang out backstage at Red Rocks with the cool kids from Devotchka. Wow, chapter 1.
Followed that up with a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens to check out the Chihuly glass work there. Amazeballs.
As near as we can decipher, today Lola is three years old. Congratulations on surviving your sketchy childhood, your trying adolescence, and the rules of your monkeys.
I just realized that this photo contains my three favorite things - Ren, Lola, and Beer. Sweet.
In an effort to make up for a dearth of posts, here's a whole bunch of crap vomited into the tubes all at once.
Book mobile design for a school in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here's another angle:
Once again when I'm desperate for cash, my friend Bruce comes through. I spent quite a bit of time working with him to get a usable unfolded pattern made for his buffalo piece. Looking forward to seeing it finished one of these days.
Have some good clients down in Santa Fe who are looking to find a way to bring some durability to the omnipresent ristra. (They are having problems with the wind, mice and ants destroying the traditional ones.) This was my first concept, which fails on the wind-resistance front. Presently working on iteration number two.