For years I have dreamed of expressing the natural splendor of bonsai in the ancient medium of bronze. Of the three-legged stool that comprises my work sculpture, bronze and bonsai, I honestly could not tell you which leg fascinates me the most. Few words can express the joy that I have found in trying to create an amalgam of these three fantastic disciplines. This pursuit, which at times has felt more like an obsession, has enabled me to create something very reminiscent and familiar but at the same time entirely fresh and new.
I am a self-educated artist who has become knowledgeable in many methods of bronze manufacture. The sheer complexity of the work and my unwavering preference to preserve the techniques of traditional lost wax casting, has made the task a daunting one. I have found myself to be as much an amateur inventor, experimentalist, and engineer as I had ever fancied myself an artist.
The presented works have been sculpted in entirety. I do not copy or “directly burnout” any organic material but draw solely from photographed references, my imagination, and years of enthusiastic study. Special care and attention has been devoted to rendering lifelike and stylistically accurate portrayals of bonsai trees within the boundaries of casted bronze. I have developed my own techniques for the original sculpt and most importantly, I have invented a new mold design which enables me to make numbered editions. Through this journey, I have also formulated some of my own materials, designed and built custom casting equipment, and invented new methods of bronze surface preparation and patination to beautifully finish these works. The whole process is almost entirely completed by my hand.
These works are labors of love and they require tolerance to a considerable amount of risk. Amazingly, they are completed with a minimum number of castings and require very little post-casting fabrication. For instance, Wish For More Wishes has been welded in just four places and my other two sculptures, are created with just two castings each Much expertise must be exerted to execute nearly flawless castings. My methodology closely resembles the direct castings of antiquity, whereas just a few seconds of pouring the molten bronze will determine whether the sculpture is a complete success or failure.
The art of bonsai enjoys a treasured status throughout the world. It is an art form that has an amazing ability to communicate so many different thoughts and feelings. The more involved you are with the art of bonsai, the more you will see in bonsai. Similarly, the more experienced the bronze collector, the faster they will recognize and appreciate exceptional work.
Now and again, I wonder about the meaningfulness of my art. I ask myself, “What is it that I’ve made, and what mark have I left behind by making it” Then, I realize I’m not making anything-- it has already been made. I’m just trying to help others bring the beauty of nature into their surroundings, and I realize that this has been my purpose all along.