Earlier this month I mentioned some Christmas commissions that I couldn't share. Today I'm finally sharing one.
This is a small memorial to a friend's dog, Oreo, who passed away a while ago. Fired clay with faux bronze patina. Approximately half scale.
And to top it off I got a couple nice notes from the clients: "You helped give us our little buddy back for us to see so thank you..." --And-- "You are amazing and we are forever grateful for you making this for Breanna!" Not to mention a hug from his daughter!
Christmas is a time for giving... But it's also a time of secrets. I have a couple projects that I can't put up here yet, despite being completely finished. So as we wait for Christmas to come, I'll share a life-long personal project.
Clicking the image here will bring you to a page listing many lego sets. Click one of them and you'll be brought to a page showing the various things I've made from that set. It's a fun exercise in creativity because some sets offer a very limited amount of pieces so a person needs to really think to make something different from a single set.
One of the best Lego projects I've done involves building with my kids. We have "building contests" to see who can build the most creative thing from a certain set. I use that idea in my teaching as well, allowing the students to exercise their creativity with Lego blocks.
Theo and I have an ongoing "battle" using a small blue spaceship. We've each built 20 different things with that set of 71 pieces. (--And we're not done yet!) In fact, some of the builds were featured in issue #35 of Brickjournal!
Sculpting the likeness of Dairy Princesses in butter at the Minnesota State Fair would be an exciting opportunity. For a long time I've wondered how butter works as a sculptural medium. Last month I decided to try.
Using 4.5 pounds of butter I sculpted a "sort-of" likeness of my oldest daughter. Butter acts much different than clay in that as it sits and gets warm, it gets softer. Every time I needed to get sharp details it would have to be cooled down in the fridge again.
It was a fun experiment that I'd like to try again on a more professional level at the state fair. Maybe when Linda Christensen retires I could jump in?
Being busy making things leaves this website to languish sometimes. Here's a 2 ft tall sculpture of Fudō Myō-ō made for a former student and his wife.
It was a fun little experiment blending fired clay and oven bake clay seamlessly into one piece.
The Prophet was installed on one of our driveway pillars for a brief time period. My wife, however, decided that it was too valuable to leave to weather and vandals so these pictures are the only proof that it was meant for our driveway pillars.
As an aside, since we don't have a good place for it in our home, I'm willing to sell it. Make an offer and we'll see what happens.
A few days ago we brought my oldest son, Andrew to college. It has been difficult having him gone but he seems to be enjoying his new home away from home and this exciting opportunity to meet new people and do extraordinary things.
On to the real business of this website:
One of my favorite projects to date, the Prophet, is finally hollowed out and waiting to be fired. Click the image here to see how it was made. This half-scale (3-foot tall) statue will adorn one of the pillars at the end of our driveway.
A month ago I posted something here. That's way too long to wait for something new. The studio has been extraordinarily busy. So much so that I don't get time to post stuff. So I'll leave you with a little teaser for the next project we're working on. The image here is a small maquette for a larger sculpture. Tell ya more when I have more time. Stick around!
Since April Kulzer Design Studios has been inundated with sculpture projects. That's a good thing for our bottom line but bad thing for my sanity. Finally last week I had a bit of respite and got the website caught up with all the latest.
Click the image here to see the first of the projects, a life-size tree to be cast in bronze. Other projects will be posted soon.
My brother talks about "Just In Time" manufacturing. I pulled off an example of that today.
As we prepare for Andrew's graduation party there were many house projects to finish. I mudded and taped the garage. Karen and I painted it and I put in a new countertop (with sink) for the main floor bathroom. We have unusual faucets in our bathrooms because I wanted to make our sinks. I successfully made two for our upstairs bathroom nearly 20 years ago but ran out of time for the main floor so we installed a generic sink. That meant I needed to make something decorative to fill the plumbing holes.
The old sink plugs were made with fired clay and had little lizards on them. The new medallions were sculpted yesterday. The silicone mold was made last night. They were cast and given a dark brown gold bronze patina today. Installed and finished "just in time".
Today I had the pleasure of demonstrating during a wine tasting located in a refurbished barn near Buffalo, MN.
It was so fun to talk with everyone who came in and show them the process I go through to sculpt a face. More pictures can be found by clicking the image here.
Life with 5 kids can be a bit hectic at times. I've been working on Andrew's portrait between other commissions (that will be posted in the future) so it has taken longer than I anticipated.
I finally have something that resembles him. Lots of refinements to make yet but click the image here to see how far it has come since the March post below.
My oldest son Andrew is graduating from high school this year so, to add to our growing collection of portrait busts, I'm sculpting his senior portrait. We had a difficult time deciding what size it should be so I made 3/4 and 1/2 scale mock ups to see how large they would be sitting on a shelf.
Life size, although the easiest to work from a model, simply is too large. The half scale seemed too small, like a toy or doll, so we decided on 3/4.
Click the image here to see what I did in my spare time today.
When working on a lifesize bronze, it's a team effort. Many people are required to sculpt, mold and cast a final bronze piece. It's fun to see projects that I helped make, come to completion. Many times I never see the finished product. Today I have a couple new pictures of bronze monuments that I sculpted the portraits for. Waymon Allen and T.A. Burnham.
These were done for Brodin Studios and NKC Sculptures.
I haven't drawn on the computer for a long time so today I thought some practice would be in order. This was done as a background image for a birthday greeting for my Mother-in-law, Lori. She is an amazing woman who raised 7 kids, the best of which is her second (but I may be slightly biased).
As I see our life with 5 kids unfold I can't imagine how she did it. I always tell people that it gets easier after the first three because the others are old enough to help significantly, but Lori had twins --and then had another little girl after that! She's a hard worker and the best Mother-in-law a guy could ask for.
Click here to see the birthday greeting.
Finished the second Pencil Dream drawing in my Elementary art room last week.
My Kindergarten classes are studying illustration and illustrating their own stories. We came up with a few different stories for this picture. Can you tell me a story about it?
You can see the first version by clicking here or by scrolling to the January 31st entry below.
A teacher's day never ends when the kids go home. We always have homework. Depending on what you teach, your homework could be tedious paper grading, or in my case, plate making.
I brought my potter's wheel in today and showed the elementary students how pots are made on the wheel. I said I'd show them how pots are trimmed on Thursday but wanted to have some big impressive pieces to trim. So in addition to the small pieces I made at school, I came home and worked on these plates. (Note they are sitting on the floor of my studio. My tables are so full of sculptures that there's no room for anything else.)
To redeem myself from posting something "old" a couple days ago, here's something new.
If you click the image here you'll see a picture of a large (3 ft. tall by 4 ft. wide) poster I made for my Elementary art room. It was inspired by a saying I saw in the art room of my phenomenal colleague at Winsted, Ms. Rhonda Houston.
The poster is designed so that I can periodically replace the castle (left) side with a different picture. I envision having a variety of pictures for the left side that relate to various lessons I teach. Just another tiny way to reinforce the concepts being taught. Every little thing contributes to the larger vision.
Alright, yes, this is a copout but nowhere do I have a picture of the tall vase I made last year. So... Because I'm struggling with a portrait and am too embarrassed to show anything related to it... I'll show my loyal followers a pot I made last spring. (click the little pic. here.)
This pot is 27 inches tall and has an interesting story behind it.
First I made it too tall to fit in the kiln. A half inch of shaving later and it fit. Then after glaze firing it was covered with blisters. BUT that happened for a reason because the glaze was kinda blah and boring. Reglazed it and you can see the finished product. A lovely mottled surface that works with our decor perfectly. Sometimes accidents force a better finished product.
I haven't made a fun face since the Creative Sprint work I did in October 2016
Using recycled water-based clay on this one and it was a challenge because my studio recycling process is kinda hit and miss. This clay was too hard to work with easily. What should have taken maybe an hour, took two and a half.
Be sure to check out the other quick sculptures done over the years on my "Sketch Sculpt" page.