Using the craft paper cutouts as templates, I cut and stacked furniture grade oak plywood into what I thought might make an interesting base for the latest steel dragon sculpture.
As I started to think about how to place this sculpture, I created a template for a wood laminated base. After fabricating the raw base, I decided it was too strong to simply be a base for this sculpture, so I kept it on reserve for more inspiration for another sculpture. The quest for a suitable base continued…
The proposed base template would be executed in furniture grade plywood. The appropriateness of this treatment had not yet been evaluated for the steel sculpture.
One might wonder why I am creating dragon sculptures that are definitely influenced by traditional Chinese art, since my ancestry is clearly European. To that I feel compelled to reply a number of ways. First, our world has grown so flat, if you will allow me to say that, that cultures are intermingling in unprecedented ways. Second, Chinese culture and sensibilities are increasingly important in our changing world. Third, Chinese dragons traditionally brought spring and summer rains and storms, with all their power, both benevolent and destructive. Since we are living in a time of unprecedented severe weather events, it is entirely appropriate, in my view, to include these icons of life and destruction in my growing body of work. Having said all the above, I hope you enjoy the images I have uploaded of my most recent metal work, which is still in progress.
This sculpture was done entirely in a flat sheet of steel. Bending the sheet metal into a three dimensional form proved most satisfying, as I saw my own hands creating form and movement out of something flat and static. My remaining tasks are to decide on the form and placement of hind limbs, to decide whether or not those hind limbs will add to the dynamism of this piece, and finally, whether or not I need to grind and polish the welds away, creating a discrete, shining sculpture. I am not sure how I think about burnishing away the marks of my workmanship.