This series of pictures shows how a mold is pulled from a clay original in order to begin the casting process via lost wax. I painted a LOT of rubber and tossed THOUSANDS of pounds of plaster back then. Dan Ostermiller was a good guy to work for – he knew how to have fun and didn’t take himself too seriously back then. His career took off like crazy at about this time, and he had some problems adjusting, like any guy in his thirties who suddenly had people clamoring to buy his work would.

Bear Mold

Bear Mold Rubber

Bear Moldmakers

Bear Mold Rubber Done

Bear Mold Plaster

Welding Bronze for Ostermiller

Hmmm. I found this image, with a date on the back, which contradicts my guess for the date on the previous post’s pic. This was taken in March of 1989 – I was working for Dan Ostermiller at that time, doing point-ups (enlarging small sculptures into biguns) and welding them together. The location is at the old Loveland Sculpture Works building. That’s Nancy, Dan, Tim Cherry, me, and Kevin Fitchner, along with a few thousand pounds of cast bronze critters. Kevin was the first welding teacher I had – he was also a dairy farmer, and would get up every day at 4 am, milk his cows, come to the shop for a day of welding and grinding, then return home to milk a second time. He averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night. Needless to say, he quit working for Dan shortly after this picture was taken, and I took up the job of managing Dan’s production.

The Tropism piece from the previous post was done when I worked for Kent Ullberg, which was after working for Dan. So 1990 is more accurate for a date on that pic.

Ostermiller Crew

First Commission

I did this piece for a private party in uhh… 1989, I think. So I was 23 years old. The title of the piece is “Tropism” – it reminded me of a seedling just orienting itself to the sun after breaking out of the seed. The material is gray alabaster. I remember picking up the raw stone – it weighed about 1200 pounds, and the finished carving was 750. There was a lot of unsound material in the blank, and that influenced the design. Like most of my carved stuff, I had no predetermined concept in mind at the start, I just started wailing away with the chisel, letting the design evolve as I worked. I kind of miss that approach, but my wrists still bitch about the abuse they suffered to this day.

Tropism Selfie