Sculpture and Prints

Autodesk Mudbox 2018 – Delicate Arch – Arches National Park Utah

We know the arch and its importance to architecture, especially cathedral “western” sacred spaces, is essential in the construction and aesthetics of such buildings. But what of the arch in the western U.S. and its ties to tribal heritage and indigenous scared space? Located just 5 miles north of Moab, Utah the massive, “Delicate Arch” perches on two impressive spires. Ute tribes described arches as portals in space and time that play an important role in ongoing tribal religious practice. Sentient beings who continue to provide help or resources to people. In addition, there are many plants, pigments, and minerals in the park that tribes use for traditional purposes. I have longed for a while to use this rock formation in a strong upright columnar  form. Mudbox is similar to ZBrush as a digital sculpting clay process. This piece is formed from photogrammetry. Photogrammetry stiches points in space where forms disperse light based on geometry. The various points or “vertices” are then triangulated with a wireframe to form a three-dimensional object in space.

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Maya 2020 – Totem Spire – Monument Valley Arizona

I started this year working in Maya as a computer modeling platform. Scaling in Meshmixer and slicing for larger 3D prints for bronze casting. These 3D printed PLA bioplastics work well in the ceramic shell process.  I wanted to explore adding actual rock formations from the landscape into my work. My original idea was to fly my drone over “Totem Pole” spire in Monument Valley, Arizona taking images for photogrammetry conversion to wireframe computer models. Not so fast. First, this is sacred land of the Navajo Nation and the “people” are not so keen on drones disrupting the “sleep” of their ancestors.  I probably could have winged it and not have gotten caught, but it just did not seem the right thing to do as some others have done. Navajo leaders  can give permission, but the costs and logistics are overwhelming for me. I happen to stumble onto a guy online that takes LiDAR images for flight simulators. LiDAR utilizes GPS coordinates along with steady IMU (flight leveling) parameters and a laser to ping the surface. I was able to purchase from him this year the rights to use his LiDAR scans of Yei Bi Chei taken for a helicopter flight simulator and manipulate them for my purposes. As well, in Meshmixer I can hollow the solid form to specific thickness for the core and the ceramic shell molding process before 3D printing. The project changed a bit from concept to models to the final sculpture as usual. Eternal balance between Mother Earth and Sky Father.

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Examples of older work and exhibitions. Click on image to reveal larger version.