For me, every sculpture I start is an experiment. I start with an idea. Sometimes the idea is abstract as with Self Esteem and sometimes the idea is palpable as with Rat's Ass.
On beginning a piece, I never know how the finished piece will resemble my beginning vision. There is the joy of discovery in watching the piece mutate as I work on it. There is the suspense of wondering whether the piece will succeed or end up in the fireplace.
Soon after I start a piece, there is a mess. Chips and sawdust cover the floor and an ugly, formless mass sits on the bench - accusingly. It is only by faith and imagination that I can see a finished sculpture in the mess. As I keep working on the piece, it takes on a life of its own. It has a personality and feelings about how it wants to look (metaphorically speaking). My job is to create lovely forms without killing that personality. I caress the piece with eyes closed. I walk around and around the piece at various distances in order to get to know it. I spend more time trying to understand the piece than I do carving. I agonize over each cut.
My sculptures may appear spontaneous, but I work hard to refine each surface and arrange the parts in an harmonious composition. The challenge is to be artful while avoiding artifice -- to be serious without being solemn. Above all, I hope to entertain. If I can invoke a smile, or a tilted head, or even a scrunched-up face in the viewer, then I consider the sculpture a success.
Poking fun at a hostle world