collect other’s works in various mediums?
do! I have plastic, resins, latex, vinyl, wood and bronze, in all
different subject matter.
Where do you see your career heading?
Someday soon, I’ll start sculpting portraiture from actual live
sittings. I plan on introducing a new line of different types of
masks. I’ve created four public bronze memorials and would like to
do more. Hopefully I’ll become more nationally known for my
sculpture work. I have plans in the works now.
type of clay do you like to work sculpt with?
I was trained
on water base clays, and the most fantastic to use is Laguna Clay
Special brand, created for the Walt
Disney Company, I think, back in the sixties. It is referred to as
WED Clay. It stands for Walter Elias Disney. That is the best clay
ever! It has so much life in it.
It seems magical when you are working
with it. The big disadvantage is the dust that is created around
your working area and eventually gets all over everything.
Chavant clays are next. They have
such a variety, I like the hard clays for sculpture that is intended
for bronze. The tooling marks are not easily removed and that lends
itself to the finished look of bronze, at least for my tastes.
Medium clays for portraits intended for wax, and softer clays for
bulk lay ups.
are some of your preferred sculpting tools?
hand-made ones. I have loop tools with guitar strings and piano
brass loop tools that work wonders on water-base clays and custom
made wood tools, made out of ligavitus (sp) a very hard wood with
tight pores. It has the capability of being made thin and springy or
thick and strong and takes a beautiful finish. I like to think of my
tools as art pieces themselves. Each tool is made for a special
purpose. I also use a lot of store bought tools, but alter them to
fit my needs. I have tools that were owned and made by Chris Mueller
Jr., creator of the Creature of the Black Lagoon. The loop tools
have shapes that I have never see before and have no idea what he
used them for, but there are a few that
have used for my own specific needs.
LMC: Do you have sculpting tips?
Oh, I suppose I have physical tips, but they would have to be shown
rather then written about. In terms of written tips, I’d say, watch
all the other sculptors whenever you get a chance. Find old
sculpture books like I did and analyze the images. I learned how to
sculpt realistic eyes by looking at a picture, (with a magnifying
glass) of a sculpt of a young girl, created by Houdon. It was basic,
but it gave me direction. I looked at real eyes of people and
watched how the high lights played on the surface of the eyes in
various positions. Took that imagery and applied it to sculpture.
Whatever it is you plan to sculpt, try to get “real” reference. It
is a lot more accurate than what you can recall from memory.
are some common mistakes beginning sculptors make? How can they
Sculpting without proper study
or reference of the subject matter and the actual preparation for
it. I have seen bad armatures ruin a sculpture and seen made up
forms that make no sense in the sculpture itself.
In sculpture, or in life for that
matter, function comes first! Then comes form, followed by the skin
and coloration. Let’s say you want to create a creature that you
want people to believe can be real. So think how that creature will
move, how it will defend itself, how it will feed, breathe, where it
exists, and how it will protect itself. Camouflage coloring.
Coloring to ward off its enemies…this is in-depth thought towards a
often than not, you get images with a “hey that looks cool, lets put
it here” type of application. Think of all the life-forms on this
planet, and how the above comments apply to them and see for
yourself the realism I am speaking about.
What do you paint with? For Wax, for latex?
I do not paint! I only art direct.
The painting is done by my wife, Andrea, so I’ll pass on her
response to your question.
Our wax formula and the painting of
it are trade secrets. Those were passed on to us by Katherine Stubergh and remain a company asset.
latex, Andrea used to paint with rubber cement thinned with naphtha.
Since that is very toxic, she no longer uses those materials. She is
now experimenting with inks, thinning them with water and spraying
them with an acrylic sealer.
Basically, in painting with an air
brush on latex, she first starts out with the flesh base color,
building it up with several translucent coats until she achieves the
desired depth of color. She then hand paints veins, blood vessels,
moles, freckles, age spots etc. She then air brushes the various
areas of shadows and highlights. Then she goes over the whole head
with a light, thin coat of flesh to tone down the hand painted
details. She then sprays the head with an acrylic sealer.
are some common beginning painting mistakes?
Not thinning down the paint enough so
that it clogs up your air brush.
Applying the paint to thick, which causes the head to shine all
anyone ever freaked out on you while doing an alginate lifecast?
out.....Well not totally, but there were a couple of times when we
First occasion was
during the time we were doing a special for the TV Program,
"How'd They Do That?" We were taking a lifecast over the host,
Wendy Walsh. Everything was going ok, but then she started to
fidget a little, then started to wave her hands. The film
director, who had known her from previous work , calmed her down
by talking to her and holding her hand to reassure her. It turned
out ok and when the special "aired", at
end , she stated that she had discovered that she was
claustrophobic and it became a little scary for her.
The other incident
happened when Rob Bottin, Art Pementel, myself and I believe Vince
Prentice was there too, we were casting a full bust of Mia Sara,
the new young actress ,
who played "lily" in
the film, "Legend". Anyway, her head was turned to the side and
downwards, and the mold casing was a two piecer, extending down to
her waist. This made it difficult to remove, and the process was
going slow. She suffered a little pain, being new to the process
and was probably pushing and pulling in the wrong directions. (she
was helping, in her frustration of not getting it off soon enough.
) There were a few tears, but she was a real trooper! It was a
shame we were not able to utilize that casting, as beautiful as it
was, due to the fact that the film effect was later cancelled due
to budget constraints. We were going to turn her into a vicious
black cat to show that she had a "dark side" too.
outside of that, there have been no others. Basically, you
verbally walk the subject (First-timers) through the process, and
if need be, do a little testing prior to the actual "take", just
to let them get the hang of it. That was a good question, as you
most often only see the positive side of life-mask sessions. In
everyday life, these things are never as smooth as they are shown.
You encounter many problems, but you just handle them as best you
do you spend your free time doing?
Fishing, browsing through old book stores, people watching and going
to the movies.
had all the money you would need, what would you spend you’re time
I would hire a select group of
artists and create a one of kind Wax Museum on Horror, fantasy and
Science Fiction. Create it in such a way that has never been done. I
would include all art forms, such as wax, bronze, resin, latex,
paper, canvas and film.
while that was being created, I would spend time creating larger
than life bronze portraiture!!!!!!!!