Custom sculpture is a large part of my metal sculpture business. Custom sculpture can be tricky. You have to watch your dimensions carefully, especially if you are trying to fit into a niche or an exact space on a shelf.
This bronze mobius custom sculpture project was for a designer home in Orlando, FL and shipped in November. I was able to innovate some procedures that worked out well. And the customer was very happy.
We (my intrepid assistant and I) fabricated a very large metal sculpture from aluminum and shipped it in October 2012 to the new Bethesda Hospital in Boynton Beach, Florida. I photographed each of the steps in the metal sculpture fabrication process and share 24 of the photos, with commentary, with you in this article.
My philosophy of sculptures includes the belief that free standing sculptures should stand on their own. But not all sculptors think this way. The sculpture to the right is an example of a poorly planned sculpture. It won’t stand on its own outside for more than a half hour unless the wind is totally calm and you have it perfectly balanced on very flat ground. Inside, you could lean it in a corner or against a wall. There are no holes in the base to secure it to something wide and heavy. I finally had to weight the base down with two bricks to make it stay upright. But it’s still precarious. We keep it near the building to protect it from the wind.
I often use granite sculpture bases for my smaller inside sculptures: they are , solid, heavy and look good. To the right is a granite base I bought from Camristone International in Wanatah, Indiana. I have bought sculpture bases like this for $100 each from a retail granite seller. Camristone sold these for $30 each in 2011 (I bought 10 and am still working through my stack) and also drilled the center hole with the recessed back. The drawback is that they don’t ship: you have to go pick them up. But there may well may be a wholesale granite supplier in your area that will make these for you.
I worked on two different designs to build a sphere sculpture today: a truncated icosahedron (on the left) and an intricately woven projected rhombic dodecahedron (below and right). They were both concepts I started last summer. Both were made with 1/8″ aluminum. The truncated icosahedron is made with thirty 12″ x 4″ rectangles riveted together with 120 rivets and is 24″ high.
Are you familiar with Kickstarter? It’s a site to Fund and Follow Creativity. There are many categories, each with several subcategories:
Be sure to register at CAFE and see what they have to offer. Most opportunities are free to apply.New opportunities are listed on CaFE™, and many application deadlines are approaching. See what new opportunities you can apply to below. You can login to CaFE here or go to www.callforentry.org to apply to one of these opportunities. Please read the call information carefully as each call has specific guidelines and eligibility requirements.
Upcoming Deadlines – APPLY TODAY!
To be recognized as a sculptor and effectively sell your work, you have to get your work out in the public eye. This will take some bucks – for applications, to rent the big truck, gas, road food, motel – plus a lot of time. But you can’t sit at home and expect people to drive up.
Some of the programs listed below will pay a stipend of $500 – $2000 for the lease of your sculpture for (usually) two years. You can’t make a living doing these (let alone break even), but you can get your work seen, build your resume and hopefully (eventually) make some sales.
Following are some excellent links with opportunities for sculptors: