I have been involved with art in one fashion or another my entire life. I grew up in an environment that assumed and expected us to create things by hand, utilize whatever materials were available, find solutions to problems, and develop better ways of getting projects done. Recycling found things and working with simple and natural materials was fairly routine since we didn't have much and certainly couldn't afford to pay someone else to do things we could do ourselves. In high school, I began welding steel sculpture and one of my pieces was honored with a Blue Ribbon for the State of Arizona by the Scholastic Arts Awards. Despite that possibility, I took a different fork in the road and elected to pursue a conventional career but never strayed far from the world of art.
Around ten years ago, I got the itch to convert a wax bust I had created decades earlier into a bronze casting. Because of my roots and upbringing, I blanched at the cost of turning my work over to a foundry and thought about how I might be able to accomplish the project on my own. I had experience with refractory materials and lost wax casting, I had scrap copper and an acetylene torch. Through trial and error, I developed my own unique method of metal casting that I call Splatter Casting. I used that technique to create a second bust that won the honor of Best of the Biennial for the Fort Worth Community Art Center in 2013. That piece was my invitation to join the vibrant Fort Worth arts community.
From that point, I made a connection with a local gallery owner who over many years has mentored, encouraged, and supported the development and evolution of my skills and vision as an artist. My primary artistic emphasis is now focused on casting recycled aluminum using several methods and techniques, often combining that metal with a variety of other reclaimed materials. Some methods are age-old and based in sand casting, while others utilize refractory casting materials. I do all this work typically with no help from others using a forge, forge tools, and gas burner I made myself. I just can't seem to get away from the figure-it-out-and-do-it-yourself upbringing that made me what I am today.
I have no formal training in the arts and no background in engineering or materials utilization which I consider to be an advantage. Had I been formally trained, I would have been taught the proper and accepted way sculpture should be designed and fabricated. I have been told more than once that a method I thought of to create something I successfully got, would never work... even though it obviously had. Everything I do is based on having a vision of what I want, then figuring out how to get there. Occasionally I get it right the first time, but more often I learn something valuable that will ultimately help focus and refine my technique for the next idea. Working with sculpture leads me on a continuing artistic journey of exploration that at times focuses on a consistent body of work then might randomly lurch off in new, curious, and wholly unexpected directions.
I still don't know where this will all end up.