Saturday, April 23, 2011

Michael Tatom's bear necessities...



I'm friends with jeweler and sculptor Michael Tatom.

Our styles of work and sculpting approaches are very different.

My approach so far has been additive with a focus on a certain kind of realism, while Michael's is subtractive and more stylized.

I've always been impressed by artists who can pull off the subtractive method as Michael does with such excellent results.

Luckily he's taken some pictures, so I can share his process with you here...

He'll start with just a couple of pictures of  his intended subject for reference.
I think he's rather amused by my piles of reference pictures when tackling a subject!

First he makes fairly orthographic drawings to transfer onto a block of very hard jeweler's carving wax.

If his wax isn't a thick enough block, he'll heat up surfaces and stick them together.





He's etched along his dotted lines.

Then he uses a band saw to roughly cut away the waste areas, before going back in with rotating barrel grinders.
No prizes for noticing that these next pics are of a different bear!

And some other things...



Barrel burr
'action'... demonstrating on another piece of wax


Not yet fully smooth...


As the form nears completion he moves on to files and gravers, finally finishing up with paper towels and solvents to achieve his signature smooth surface...

Getting scraped...

Files, gravers, and burrs

Look at those skinny files. I reckon Michael could probably do you a half decent root canal in a pinch...

 Here's a magpie ready for molding...
His paintings aren't nearly as refined as his sculptures, as you can see on the cupboard door :)

A small sampling below...



See Michael's website HERE...
or his Etsy store HERE...

All pictures in this post are copyright Michael Tatom, and used with permission.


Click these links to visit my website... SteveWorthingtonArt.com - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

1 comment:

Michele said...

I love Michael Tatom's sculptures. It is wonderful to see the process he uses.