Most of my bronze sculptures are created in my German studio. For the larger sculptures I am working with the foundry "Skulptur Manufaktur" in Niefern-Öschelbronn. This foundry is one of the most specialized and experienced in Germany catering for more than 100 years to sculptors from around the world. Sculptors are allowed to work hand-in-hand with the crew at the foundry and are invited to apply the final touches to their creation, from choosing the patina, doing the polishing, to waxing and highlighting the bronze.
In Canada I work with my friend Jock Hildebrand, a world-renown sculptor, at his small foundry and Shibui Gallery, located in Maple Bay close to my home on the West Coast of British Columbia.
Although I love to work with bronze, the very high processing cost force me to restrict creations to "coffee table" and gallery size objects.
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Stones have to speak to me for inspiration. I find it most challenging to work with pre-cut material. I am an artist who prefers naturally broken stones that stimulate my imagination, be it soapstone, alabaster, marble, or harder materials such as limestone, sandstone, basalt, or granite. I am very fond of working with river rock which comes in a surprising array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Collecting them is one of my favorite pastimes when out in nature. Every raw piece I find has to guide me in the right direction prior to touching any tools for the creation of a new sculpture. Some trigger a spontaneous image while others may take weeks, or even months to come alive.
All my sculptures, whether made of stone or metal, resemble images taken from nature or people. My focus however remains on animals and wildlife which I know best having studied them all my life. I rarely produce abstracts but rather try to capture characteristic features or movements of a species I am working on.
I have learned that sculptures depicting group inter-action provide more life. A similar effect can be achieved by placing the animal into its typical habitat. Raw stones are full of surprises. Intriguing colors, shades, and structures may only surface after the stone is being worked on, one of the reasons why I will not tire of working with stone.
Large Metal Sculptures
Working with steel has been a new challenge. In 2016 I added a plasma cutter and welding equipment to my workshop in order to embark on this new venture which allows me to produce larger sculptures that still can be man-handled. Without a forge and proper black-smith tools however, three-dimensional sculptures made of steel plate are not easy to fabricate as I continue to discover. Nevertheless, two-dimensional steel-sculptures can be very attractive if used for the right purpose and at the right location. Some examples include metal buffers behind wood-burning stoves of log-cabins, railings of staircases, or simple wall reliefs. From my first experience with outside sculptures I discovered the importance of light and seasonal changes for sculptures to come alive.