Posts Tagged ‘Sculpture’

The Incredible Automata Sculpture of Carlos Zapata

Posted in Automata, Characters, Metal, Wood on February 20th, 2011 by Alice – 7 Comments

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Torsos - by artist Carlos Zapata

Torsos - by artist Carlos Zapata

I first came across a video of one of Carlos Zapata’s automata last year and then again last week I saw another video of his. I have been amazed at the intricate workings of his delightful sculptures.

I was lost with pure delight on Carlos’s website, it is full of pictures of his work including the Elephant sculpture below. I  was completely drawn in by the stories being told and the colorful figures. This jolly  group is 28″ high, made of wood and metal and is owned by a private collector.

Elephant by artist Carlos Zapata

Elephant by artist Carlos Zapata

All of his work stands by itself a visual works of art, but nothing does his sculptures justice like seeing them in motion, it’s what make them so unique.

The layers of intricate mechanics is simply difficult to imagine figuring out.  Carlos is a self taught Automata artist and has his studio in Mabe, Cornwall. For the past 11 years he has been creating these fabulous kinetic or mechanical sculptures.

He often uses reclaimed wood and scraps or recycled metal in his work as he believes is contributes to the uniqueness of his piece, with a story behind the story.  And tell stories is one thing Carlos knows how to do.

The Automata Repairman by artist Carlos Zapata

The Automata Repairman by artist Carlos Zapata

In his own words, Carlos explains The Automata Repairman

“This man is cycling coming to repair your automata, he is getting old and he looks at the floor and then the horizon,.. but he keeps pedalling, he is carring his tools in his box. You can see all the tools that he is going to need.
Down inside the mechanisms you see this man flying and a fat cat watching him, while two hands are holding hammers moving in rhythmic way.
Down at the botton there is one collector looking at his automata and on the other side there is a dog that wonders what the fuss is about and turns its head to see you turning the handle. It’s 77 cm. High (30 Inches)”

His work has been exhibited in Museums around the world. Many of the ideas for his pieces have evolved and been taken from his own personal life experience. He often draws inspiration and is influenced by African, South American, Asian and British art.

Some of his work is very  large and contains full size figures with layers of activity below. This video Museo Parque De Las Ciencias G will give you a sense of the scale of his work.

I  can only  image how enjoyable it would be to have a piece of his wonderful sculpture to greet me each day. My favorite might very well be The Mask.

The Mask by artist Carlos Zapata

The Mask by artist Carlos Zapata

I’m happy to tell you that you can own your own coffee table book of Carlos’ work. He has self published an informative picture book that will give you a peek into his world.


Automata Carlos Zapata

Carlos often accepts commissions for his sculptures from both private and public collectors worldwide. But if you can’t wait that long, you can own one right away by visiting his website, Carlos Zapata Automata.

You can also spend hours watching his 48 videos on Youtube. While it’s not the same I’m sure, it’s the next best thing to seeing them in person.

He also has a new blog where hopefully we can get to know him even better.

Popularity: 72% [?]

Maureen Carlson’s Polymer Clay Characters

Posted in art dolls, Characters, polymer clay on January 13th, 2010 by Alice – 7 Comments

Story Box #15

When I first started getting interested in polymer clay, it was because I wanted very badly to sculpt! Faces! There were a few artists that had been working in polymer for years and had published a few books. Maureen Carlson was one of them. I bought her book, Family and Friends in Polymer Clay, I loved this book.   Maureen is, and I believe always will be, a storyteller. Her newest work above is a tribute to her fabulous imagination and ability to engage you, the viewer, with the tapestry of her stories. Couple this with the color and texture of the clay and you have delightful, entertaining story to read in 3D. This Storybox might be my favorite work of hers to date.


Wee Folk

Maureen’s designs are about imagination and whimsy and the joy of recognizing a glint of understanding in the eyes of a wee clay creature. Wee Folk Creations is a company that specializes in designs, artwork and stories created by Maureen.

Wall Doll

Wall Doll

In 1999, Maureen and her husband Dan opened Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts, in Jordan, Minnesota, just 35 miles southwest of Minneapolis.  In this small town setting, perched on the edge of a small meandering creek, students and retreat participants have opportunities to learn, to share and to explore their creative interests.

All My Life's A Circle

All My Life's A Circle

On her website, Maureen has many galleries full of work from the beginning to today. The theme of her newest work is faces, which is why I am continually drawn to Maureen and her characters. I just love this “Circle” girl. She tells the story of herself, on herself as we all do if one looks close enough.

Be Still

Be Still

In keeping with a story telling, on her website she shares this about her sculpture, Be Still.

“My sculptures usually come from words and phrases that pair themselves with images. Such is the case with this piece.  I heard once that there is great value in being still, that action is not the only choice.  In fact, there might be great harm in doing something just to do it, or in being busy just to prove one’s worth. I paired that thought with these words that a student posted on the quotation wall at my retreat center: You can’t keep the birds from flying overhead but you don’t have to let them nest in your hair.”  You can read the rest of Maureen’s thoughts about Be Still here.

Talking Stick

Talking Stick

I asked Maureen if she had anything that she would like my readers to know. She answered, ”One of the things that I know about my work is that I still love my little whimsical wee folk at the same time that I’m thoroughly enjoying the process of making the newer pieces that tell stories and ask questions.  Haven’t gotten bored yet!”

“It’s been 30 years now that I’ve been making and marketing my characters and I’m still learning new things. So many things yet that I want to explore.”

Maureen continues to produce books and many other products to educate those of us who want to learn more about polymer clay. You can access all of Maureen’s products and information on her website, Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts.

Popularity: 94% [?]

The Characters of Bill Nelson

Posted in art dolls, Illustration, Puppets, Ventriloquist figure on November 24th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments


Bill Nelson is a Facebook friend of mine. He’s always posting something wonderful to look at. He is an illustrator, a sculptor and a ventriloquist figure maker. His work makes me laugh and wish I had just a tiny bit of his talent.

Some of Bill Nelson’s figures have found homes with people we’ve heard of before, Demi Moore, Whoopie Goldberg, David Copperfield and the list goes on.


HIs illustrations have won over 900 awards. You might have seen Bill’s work on the covers for CQ Weekly, The Atlantic Monthly, or Lands’ End.

Bill is listed in Who’s Who in America and created a series of Big Band Illustrations for the Untied States Postal Service stamps.

7519_136276183138_817063138_2511600_771867_n.jpgHe told me that Super Sculpey was his favorite material to use to sculpt his characters.

I wanted to know what he enjoyed most about creating his people. He said, “Bringing the face to life by tinting and coloring, that’s my favorite part. Wigging is almost as much fun because they both bring the character to life.”

I mean, look at these faces……….


Bill said that he doesn’t have any kind of regular schedule for creating his characters unless he has a commission.


He spends part of his time teaching an entire curriculum on the art of dollmaking online at That Creative Place. He also teaches workshops in his home in North Carolina.

Not only will you learn from a master, I think Bill is the kind of guy that will make your learning experience extremely entertaining.

There is more to learn about this amazing artist, so you might want to visit his website, which by the way is one of the coolest I’ve seen.  You’ll be entertained by his work for sure.

I’m leaving you with this one, it makes me laugh out loud. It’s “Boris Karloff between takes”, but all I see is Frank kickin’ back. I’m laughing now.


Popularity: 100% [?]

Michaela Groeblacher’s Sculpture That Helps Us Remember Who We Are

Posted in Ceramic, Realistic on November 4th, 2009 by Alice – 6 Comments
Women and Eggs Series

Women and Eggs Series

I was struck by Michaela’s statement on her website. She said, “I believe that human beings are here for a task, to discover – to remember, if you will, the gift we each came to deliver – the gift that is essential to bring balance to the earth, to restore our souls, to create heaven on earth by realizing and applying our thoughts, ideas and talents. ”

When I was growing up, there wasn’t a day in my life that both my mother and my father didn’t say “I love you” to me. Whenever I would leave the house, my mother said, “I love you, remember who you are.” I always took this to mean that I should be proud of my family, where I came from and who I was as a person. To not do anything to contradict who I was. My mother’s mother, my grandmother,  said the same thing to her.

As the years went on I’ve come to believe that there was more meaning to that statement than any of us realized at the time. I truly believe that if we all could remember who really are and what we came here to do, the world would be that  ”Heaven on earth” that we all are looking for.

Woman and Egg Series

Woman and Egg Series

Michaela wrote to me, “By forming the wet clay, adding and subtracting, I am uncovering the other person’s soul, while at the same time ascertaining myself.”

Woman and Egg Series

“In creating three-dimensional canvasses and subsequently painting them, I satisfy my artistic hunger on multiple levels. My work is as much about the human psyche and perception as it is about color, composition and form.”

I think her work is stunning.

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Her series, Fire, Earth, Water, Air, deals with the forces of nature. She had this to say about her work. “Since the beginning of civilization, humans have been attempting to explain our existence by answering the questions: who are we, where do we come from and why are we the way we are?”

“For that reason, countless sciences, religions and philosophies have been cultivated in all regions of the earth by numerous peoples, many times looking to nature for guidance.”

“Fire, Water, Earth and Air are called the four classical elements, with Aether (=Space) being the spatial dimension that accommodates them, bringing the number to five classical elements.”

“The four sculptures are my contribution to this eternal question – and – answer cycle. It is my attempt to allegorize the four classical Forces of Nature by depicting them as women”.

Michaela goes on to say, “Additionally, I listed four attributes for each of the women and the qualities they represent in my opinion.”

“Since my artwork has YOU, the viewer, in mind, I invite you to participate by adding to the list of attributes or adjectives that come to your mind when pondering the above statement.”

Fire:  Passionate,    self confident,     energetic,     ambitious

Water:  Focused,      energizing,      relaxed,        curious

Earth:  Creative,      nourishing,      connected,       faithful

Air:  Spontaneous,       confident,        gentle,        musical

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Series

You can see more of Michaela’s wonderful work on her website - MichaelaCheck back there often for her new series on menopause. I’m very curious to see what she has to share with us.

Popularity: 86% [?]

Catherine Merrill’s Language of Everywoman

Posted in Ceramic, mixed media on October 20th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment

Catherine Merrill’s work speaks of the archetypical images in us all.  The fluid movement of her vases compliment the bodily expressiveness of her subjects and hint at our own Persephone, Hestia or Athena. Her life size torsos are visual feasts for the eyes.

Phases of the Moon

Phases of the Moon

Catherine has created her own visual language to express a personal mythology.  The individual story becomes that of “Everywoman” through the universal language of art.

Touch Me

Touch Me

The prominence of the human figure in her work results from the many years when she was a dancer and the body was the artistic instrument to express emotion and ideas.

War and Peace

War and Peace

Catherine believes, ” The role of the artist and of art in our world is no longer mere entertainment or decoration, but an essential force for healing and change.”

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers

Catherine Merrill is a visionary, helping to create a cultural exchange with Cuba. The following is a quote from the Art of Fire Project website.

“Proyecto Arte del Fuego (“Art of Fire Project”) was envisioned in 2002, by ceramic artists Antonio Lewis (Cuba) and Catherine Merrill (USA). Proyecto Arte del Fuego is an ongoing international cultural exchange project offering workshops, master classes, lectures, residencies and exhibitions in the ceramic arts. It is sponsored by the Fundacion Caguayo in Santiago, Cuba, the Estudio-Galeria Los Oficios in Havana and Casa-Taller Pedro Pablo Oliva, Pinar del Rio.”

Read more about Catherine, her life and her beautiful thoughtful work on her website.

Popularity: 67% [?]

The Archetypal Sculpture of Cheryl Tall

Posted in Ceramic on September 1st, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments

T 4 2

Fantasy, furniture that moved and animals that talk, were a natural part of Cheryl Tall’s environment growing up, and no wonder, her parents were employed by Disney World!

My father worked on some of the building in Disney World and I wanted to live there, so I relate to Cheryl’s imagination and fascination with the absurd.

As Cheryl began to travel, visting art galleries and museums, and to study art history in college for completion of her Master’s Degree in Art, she was able to merge this early carnivalesqe imagery with increasingly more sophisticated techniques, and incorporate references to pop culture and surrealism.

Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

When I spoke with Cheryl, I asked her if she would like share some insight to her work. I wanted to know what moves her and she replied, “What moves me is meaningful human contact.  I love to watch the crowds in airports, malls and parks, and see how people interact with each other.

“Absurd things make me laugh” she said, “things that are incongruous.  Charlie Chaplin, funny movies, Cirque du Soleil, mime artists.”



I asked Cheryl what she wants to give the viewer, “I want the viewer to leave with a smile, an intriguing thought.  Things are not always what you think they are, and there are many different levels of reality.”

“I’m frequently asked, Why the medieval clothing and buildings?  I see this particular time in history, say the 12th century, as a reference point.”

“It’s not that long ago compared to the age of the world – not even a 1000 years ago.  Yet all of human life experience was pretty similar for eons:  people walked or rode horses.  They made everything by hand.  They grew their own food.  Heat came from a fireplace or a campfire.  Life was lived at a very slow pace because of all the work needed just to eat and have shelter and clothing.”



“Things began to speed up.  Trains were invented and gas lights and printing presses. Things began to speed up even more.  We got electricity and cameras and guns and cars.”

“In the past 50 years, everyone got a computer, a cell phone, a digital camera, a wide screen TV.  News that used to take a year to arrive now is known instantaneously, all around the world.  We have Facebook, Twitter, emails, phone messages, texting, Myspace, etc.”

Bird Lady

Bird Lady

Cheryl continued, “Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all of this.  Then I get my perspective back by mentally stepping into medieval garb and taking a look at all these modern things.  They look like magic, and illusion!  And maybe they are.”

Orange Zinger

Well Cheryl, maybe you’re right, maybe life is an illusion, but there is nothing deceptive in the  fun and delight that your sculptures bring the viewer. Your work is large and that in itself makes a statement about their permanency.

Cheryl works in her studio in Leucadia, CA, she teaches and exhibits her work in galleries around the country. Visit Cheryl Tall’s website for her busy schedule and to view more of her wonderful sculpture.

Popularity: 55% [?]

The Tribal Carvings of Robyn Gordon

Posted in Found Objects, Wood on August 1st, 2009 by Alice – 6 Comments


When I first came across Robyn Gordon’s carved figures, I had that “ahh” reaction. Here was something that spoke to me and drew me in. So interesting are each of her carvings, with found objects that she searches for in flea markets, second hand store and from nature around her, that each one demands more than a casual glance.

My father was a printer and many times I helped set type. Robyn’s niches for her “finds” remind me of the boxes that held the type. Maybe that is one of the reasons I was so drawn to her artwork.

Her use of found objects is intrinsic to the completeness of  some of her figures. It is as if she is gathering the history of a culture and proving that nothing is ever lost, that each piece of history creates the whole.

Tribal People

Tribal People

Robyn lives in South Africa and is influenced by African tribal art and tribal art from around the world. She began carving by lamp light with her mother when she was about 8 years of age. Her family  had no electricity and no television. She has a passion that can be seen in her work and a peace that she captures and sends on to the viewer.

Broken Angel

There are her peaceful angels.

Colorful Woman


Barbie and the Woodpecker

Barbie and the Woodpecker

Then she has that quirky bit of humor that I like to think I share.
Her crazy colorful woman Sawabona, is magic. Makes me laugh.

And Barbie and the Woodpecker is priceless.

More of her enchanting work can be seen on her blog Art Propelled and on her Flickr site of the same name.

Popularity: 52% [?]

Sculptural Artist Andrew Myers’ Leap of Faith

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment
Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

Andrew Myers has been artistically influenced by european life and culture. He was born in Braunshweig, Germany and raised in Ciudad Real, Spain.

At age 20, Andrew attended the Art Institute of Southern California, now known as Laguna College of Art and Design, after which he put his faith in his art and began to work as a full time artist. His personal “Leap of Faith”

A reminder to all of us to just begin. My favorite quote is,

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, Begin it. Action has magic, power and grace.”  Goethe

Idea Roadblock

Idea Roadblock

Andrew’s subjects matter certainly makes the viewer pause for reflection. Little snippets of the life of every-man-woman.

The Idea Roadblock resonates for me  as just out of reach, that inspirational idea that I can almost touch, but I need to stretch just a bit more, just past my comfort zone. Knowing I might fail, but still taking that “Leap of Faith”, just beginning “it”.

Oh Life's Unexpected Moments

Oh Life's Unexpected Moments

Oh, Life’s Unexpected Moments. – Just when I think I have everything balanced, the unexpected happens and sends me flying.  It happens to us all from time to time, it is the way of the world. But then before I know it, I’m right back there stretching for the new idea and taking another leap of faith.

Life's Deconstruction Phase 2

Life's Deconstruction Phase 2

The blend of modern material with classical figurative techniques featuring  universal subject matter are prevalent throughout his work. He uses, among other media, bronze and cement in his sculpture and in his drawings, rice paper, charcoal, stains, wood finishes.

To learn more about this thoughtful Artist you can begin with this wonderful interview in this PDF of the Fall 2008 issue of Sculptural Pursuit. There are many pieces of his in this interview that aren’t on his website. But do take time to visit and explore more of his interesting sculptures and drawings on his website.

Thanks to Tejae Floyde for suggesting Andrew Myers’ art.

Popularity: 38% [?]

Donald Gialanella’s St. George and the Dragon Parallax Cross

Posted in Metal, mixed media, Videos on June 28th, 2009 by Alice – 2 Comments

Donald Gialanella work is in found in public places and private collection around the world. When I contacted him, he had just returned from Perth Australia. His design St. George and the Dragon Parallax Cross was named a finalist for the St. George’s Cathedral sculpture competition. Incredible, what a visually delightful paradox. We certainly wish him well in the competition.

St. George and the Dragon Parallax Cross

From his website I learned; Donald studied in New York City at The Cooper Union under Louise Bourgeois, Jim Dine, Vito Acconci and Hans Haacke. The school’s traditional apprenticeship programs exposed him to bronze casting, steel fabrication, painting, drawing and graphic design, while classes with conceptualists Vito Acconci and Hans Haacke introduced him to anti-academic and revolutionary aesthetics. After graduating in 1979 and being awarded the Elliot Lash Prize in recognition of his monumental wood and steel tripods exhibited in Cooper Park, Gialanella was asked by Bourgeois to work as her assistant.  Throughout the following year Gialanella worked directly with Louise, doing everything from assembling armatures for her sculptures to creating odd portals, which she was fond of scurrying through from room to room, that he punched through the walls of her Chelsea brownstone with a pickax.

(If you would  like to know more about Louise Bourgeois, you can certainly do an online search for Louise Bourgeois, but here is a link to get you started.)

Ankara Turkey In 1992 Gialanella ventured to Turkey and devoted two years teaching art at Bilkent University. One morning as he wandered through a rural part of the Old City in Istanbul, he was hypnotized by a clanking rhythm. “My ears led me to the coppersmiths who were creating intricate designs with the simplest of tools, as they have done for centuries.  This inspired me to start working on sculpture again, hammering and bending to shape the steel in an organic way. In this exotic and ancient culture I began to spiritually reconnect with myself and experienced an artistic re-birth. A year later I had my first major one-man show at Ars Gallery Ankara and gained the confidence to devote myself completely to achieving my personal artistic vision.”


I was struck by the diversity of materials in these two sculptures

Midden Woman

I enjoy his satire as shown in this smaller sculpture depicting the mortgage crisis.

American DreamerDon is well known for his animal of which he has done many. From life size horses to smaller figures of animal that you can see here on his website. The Horse is the first piece he created in his new studio in Taos New Mexico. It’s made of Heavey gauge cut and forged steel with an acid wash finish. 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and stands 5 feet 6 inches tall at the shoulder.


I love this rooster’s color .


Maybe my favorite work is Idea Man below. Although it certainly is a challenge to choose just one of Don’s pieces as favorite. There are so many to choose from that I have posted more here than I usually do.

Idea ManDon writes about Idea Man, “A completely three dimensional image, this fanciful steel sculpture is a logical progression of my Fragment Portraits. He rides a simple unicycle while supporting his enormous head appointed with Hermes-like wings that give flight to his formidable powers of creativity.”

His method for creating his Fragment Portraits is fascinating. He writes, “I draw the face directly onto a sheet of steel and cut it into fragments which define the facial features in a specifically descriptive way. Then I reassemble the “jigsaw puzzle” and weld it together from the back to reunite the portrait. The color and texture is done with various chemical patinas, paint, metalic powders, and a grinder.”

To really understand his process watch the video below.

I’m going to leave you with an interesting and delightful adventure into the world we are living in. Don was featured in several Magazines both in print and online. The online Magazines are the ones that are so interesting and interactive. Not only will you learn more about Donald Gialanella work, but somehow, with both photos and video and because it is so full of life, it makes the reader/viewer more engaged.

The first is CTN Green Maganzine, his article and videos are on pages 20 and 21. The video is the same as the one above, but the presentation is really interesting.  Please take a minute, you’ll truly enjoy it. After you spend the time with Don on these pages, you might want to look at the rest of the magazine, interesting.

The second magazine with an interview with Don is Deviance from deviantART. You can download the issue to your computer. It’s well worth it.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Don Gialanella and his work. There is so much more for you to explore on his site, Donald Gialanella – Metal Sculpture.

Please take a minute to add a comment, let me know what you think, I really would like to hear from each of you.

Popularity: 37% [?]

The Figurative Sculpture of Carolina Rodriquez Baptista

Posted in Bronze on June 24th, 2009 by Alice – Be the first to comment


Carolina Rodriquez Baptista work is appealing to me for several reasons. Not the least of which is the gracefulness of her figures. What made me stay on her site for a longer than normal visit, is that her figures have a dream like quality that takes my imagination and holds it close.



It seems as if most of her work has a spray of numbers somewhere on the piece. I asked her if she could share their meaning with me.

“My background and original career was graphics. I studied graphics in Parsons and worked in graphics in NY. I used to do packaging, and advertising for Swatch, HBO, Verizon, Amex among others.”

“I guess the numbers and letters in my work is something I kept from my past. I believe sculpture is like photography or poetry, you are trying to capture a moment, a feeling, an instant. Numbers represent those moments. You cannot see it in the photographs but I also generally write phrases on the pieces, sometimes you can recognize them, sometimes you cannot. They are not there to be read, but they are part of the piece. Sometimes they are mine and sometimes they are borrowed from friends or authors I love and admire.”

“As you can see in the site my main theme has been women, I find great fascination in the female form, but specially in the female soul. I feel we are so many things at different times in our lives, from there comes the names of my last set of sculptures.”

All of the sculpture that I have pictured here are from Carolina’s last set.



Her pieces float or seem to defy gravity. They’re sensual with a smile and a provoking suggestion of another world.



I love these dresses, don’t you? All of the pieces shown here are of bronze and metal.

Carolina is originally from Venezuela, she left Caracas at 19 to study in NY, where she lived and worked for ten years. In 2001 she moved to Miami, and because of her husbands work she has lived for the past 8 years between Miami and Madrid. Most of her work is done in Madrid  where she has a studio and the foundry she uses is there also.



To see more of Carolina’s work visit her website where you will find some of her paintings as well.

Carolina’s  work is represented in Miami, FL at the Virginia Millar Gallery, in Madrid, Spain at the Galeria DURAN, and in Paris, France at the Espace Meyer Zafra.

Popularity: 30% [?]