Process

I am always collecting plastic objects. In my basement I have 30 plastic bins full of color sorted plastic objects, and when I have enough of one color I make a decision for what to make. Right now I am very interested in depicting animals in motion, so I research different gallops, strides, flight and dives of various species and find reference photographs to help me understand the motion as well as the anatomy of the animals.

“This is like a puzzle to me. I make sure that all the objects are properly aligned to maximize the effect of motion, and add, step back, add another, step back, remove a piece, and I keep going until the piece looks completely formed but not overly dense.”

I try to find photographs from at least 3 different angles of the same pose, and determine the motion lines, physical requirements for supporting the weight and how to conceal the support structure inside of the visual elements. This stage is the most challenging. It is very important to me that my support structures also double as visual elements, but this is not always easy. Once the armature and hardware and any other structural concerns are resolved I build an armature according to plan in steel wire. This is a skeletal structure with some kind of mesh pieces welded on it.

At this point everything is very deliberate and calculated. When that is complete I paint it in the color to match the plastic I plan to use. Then finally I get to play. I attach plastic objects to the armature by drilling small holes in the plastic, then using thin electrical wire of the matching color I tie the plastic objects on to the mesh of the armature. I work very spontaneously at this stage and I have great fun doing this. This is like a puzzle to me. I make sure that all the objects are properly aligned to maximize the effect of motion, and add, step back, add another, step back, remove a piece, and I keep going until the piece looks completely formed but not overly dense.