Most of my works start as drawings. Whether they are digitally drawn or created with graphite on paper, I begin by working with abstract marks, exploratory lines, simple shapes, gestures, patterns, and rhythms. While working, I am primarily interested in the organic relationships of forms. Though the drawings clearly suggest specific shapes and volumes, they are not meant to depict identifiable objects. Instead they border on abstraction and figuration. As the drawings evolve, I respond to their new forms. It is a process of both invention and discovery that I call speculative drawing. This way of working is influenced by automatic drawing since I am open to decisions made by chance, subconscious responses, and intuitive mark-making. Unlike automatic drawing, I frequently shift from this less controlled method of working to allow for more deliberate improvisation and conscious design.
Digital sculpting is an extension of this drawing process. In the drawings, 3-dimensionality is implied. Though it is important for me to capture the feel and major forms represented in the drawings, I consider them to be a point of departure. There is still a significant amount of interpretation that happens during the translation from 2D drawing to 3 dimensional sculpts. The drawings only allow for one view and may give little or no information about the back, side, bottom, or top of the form. Additionally, elements that work well in the drawings may not work the same way when realized in 3 dimensions. In the same way that I am searching for forms in the drawings, I continue this open exploration when sculpting. I push, pull, cut, carve, mold, and shape the forms as if their polygonal surfaces were digital clay.
After sculpting the works, they only exist as digital files on the computer. I can choose to either show them as images or they can be printed out as physical objects using 3D printing or some other form of digital fabrication. 3D prints are an additive form of digital fabrication in which an object is constructed in a particular material one layer at a time. Each 3D printer has different material, resolution, size, and speed options for printing. At this point, I have used 5 different types of 3D printers to create my work which include the following: Zcorp 650, Project 3000, Makerbot Replicator 2, Stratasys U Print, and the Stratsys Dimension.
Casting and Finishing
Some of my works are meant to be completed pieces after they are printed. In that case, the final surface qualities and color are dependent on the printer. At other times, a mold is made and the works may be cast in other materials, such as resin or bronze, to create multiples. Casting them in other materials adds more flexibility for finishing the works and producing multiples.