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Each piece takes a considerable amount of time. The range is around 10-20 hours of work spread out during 1-3 days in time. I have been able to streamline some of the process by using some power tools to remove large amounts of material in a quickly with out all the wear and tear on my tools or my body. The detail and finish work more time than the shaping and forming the main body of each piece.
The majority of my pieces of are created with Basswood which is a Northern hemisphere wood that is a clean clear wood great for carving. Heardwear Specialties in Anchorage, AK is a great place that carries basswood. When I lived in Portland, OR I would purchase wood at a place called Woodworkers. I have also used spruce, yellow cedar and cottonwood. Many of these types of wood I have harvested in the Northern Hemisphere.
The other materials used are wire, acrylic paint, aluminum plate, epoxy, hair, fur, nylon string, feathers, synthetic sinew, nails and beads. These materials i have found at hardwear stores, art suppliers, junkyards, human donors, along lakes, bead stores, craft stores and around the house.
I am constantly looking to use new materials to widen my style and textures for each piece.
My ideas for the work I do are inspired by the events and things I have seen in my life. Weather it is a soundclip, song, writing, quote, picture, event or emotion I try to capture its form in my creations. I want to share what I see and feel in what I do. It is a therapy.
For example I had a friend share a fire clip with me and that gave me the inspiration for my fire piece called "Untamed Desire".
I usually draw a series of pieces based of a particular time in my life. I have a stack of drawings that have come from events and emotions that I am intersted in expressing in a piece. The drawing acts as a template and direction for each project. I do tend to change small details on the pieces but the main form of the mask is preserved.
I use a ever growing variety of tools. I am not partial to any type of tool as long as it helps me create something. In face I tend to find myself walking through tool suppliers scheming ideas from tool I pass.
I have used traditional tools such as bent knives. During my class with Bob Shaw and Joe Senungetuk I learned some about how to take care of tools to ensure they stay sharp. I tend to use chisels more often then not as my main type of tool.
Other hand tools range from coping saw, japanese hand saw, rulers, files, scissors and metal cutters.
I use many types of power tools to speed up the process of taking material away. I have a skill saw, jig saw, japanese hand saw, cop saw, electric dewalt drill, electric sander and a burning tool.