"What do I want to say?"
"How do I want to say it?"
"Who is my audience?"
Central to the work is my role as a husband and father. All other influences seem to be concentric ripples that radiate from my relationship to my family. It is my desire that the viewer see beauty in the world without overlooking the energy spent to create it or consider what it will demand to maintain. I want to build precious cargo aboard a precarious journey.
In the sculpture I create, I use construction methods commonly found in furniture and ship building along with ceramic and cast metal components. These objects I make are conceptional, and sometimes literal, references to vessel as human figure. The many of the structural details represent the relationships in my life. I try to create portraits of the relationships that defines my world.
My earlier work relied heavily on craft-based methodology and traditions that included functional and domestic narratives. As I transitioned into narrative sculpture I have retained many of these fundamental tools. I use ceramic firing processes allow me to imply history to my work. This is also true with my metalworking and woodworking methods. I try to mimic the “farmhouse patina” I remember from my grandparents Wisconsin homestead. I work hard to retain my personal voice and aesthetic perspective that I found welcome in my more craft influenced work. This can be challenge as I strive to create contemporary conceptional narrative sculpture.
I have never felt that I was naturally equipped to have a family, let alone be the father of three daughters. My cultural frame of refence has been narrow and overwhelmingly masculine. It was easy to take my daughters fishing but found it a bit more difficult to help them dress Barbie dolls. And I foolishly believed I some had insight to boy trouble. How do I support them as they become women? I have come to define my life by questions like this and all that this role entails. It influences every part of my life and seems natural for my work to reflect it.
I have found having a family is a sequence of looking to an unknown future while the constantly time looking to the past. I have found that I rarely live in the present. I am, all at once, an optimist, an alarmist, a sentimentalist and a builder. My work seems to fit the very same pattern.
I have three questions I ask myself: What do I have to say? How do I want to say it? Who is my audience? I’ve had answers to these questions for so long I can’t remember the last time I thought about them beyond materials, process and composition. There have been some recent answers that have read stale, like an over thought Artist statement. My life changed in very dramatic ways recently. I now find myself struggling to personally validate the work I do. I strive to explore my world and more fully experience the cultural differences that fascinate and define me.