My process begins when I see something that sparks an idea and I’ll sketch it quickly on paper. Then I’ll try to emulate the sketch without a lot of planning. I could sketch it out to the point where I could just build it to scale, but I don’t do that, because I think more clearly in 3D than in two dimensions. Usually only parts of the sculpture resemble the drawing.
I start with a flat piece of wood. Then I draw out my idea and cut it out with a saber saw. I quite often change things at this point: I won’t be happy with an element and I’ll need to cut it out, which you can’t do if you’re not doing subtractive sculpture, like carving. I start laminating more pieces of wood, and laminating high-density polyurethane foam, which you can sand and carve a lot easier than wood. Then I coat it with an epoxy mix.
The last stage is hand sanding. I try to use tools, but I can’t really understand what I want to see until I have a piece of sandpaper in my hand. The curves come together better that way.
I work in mixed media, ceramic, and wood. Working with clay I enjoy the different phases the material goes through: to begin with its just mud, but at another level it’s like loose putty, and then it becomes like leather. Epoxy mediums that I use behave similarly: when you mix it up, it is runny and muddy, but the drying speed is entirely dependent on how much catalyst you use. For a few minutes, you can cut it easily, but after an hour it becomes rock-like. Wood on the other hand is purely subtractive. Sharpening your tools, your gouges, to the point where the cut you make has a gloss finish—this is supremely satisfying.