Owl panel fired

The owl panel came out of the kiln nicely, the design has a lot of undercuts and opposing angles to it, which required a fairly complicated mold, and removing the sections of the mold  is tricky, as a result this sculpture requires a considerable amount  of time detailing and refining it, removing seam lines etc.

I have two fired, and two more drying to be fired in a couple of weeks.

Angel panel 713 first pressing

I just finished pressing the first sculpture in the new mold, with the fan playing across the back on low to start drying the clay from the back and inside, in an hour or two she should be firmed up enough to remove from the mold.

It took about 30# of clay to make.

Converting angel panel 713 to terracotta

Since I had a gallon of mold rubber left sitting around I decided to use it to make a rubber positive of my angel panel. Poured it in some 6 hours ago and now I have my rubber positive ready to go.
Probably Friday afternoon I’ll work on the plaster piece mold of this so I can make them in pressed fired terracotta too.

With the mold finished, I will be able to start pressing some terracotta soon!

St Vincent’s Hospital nurse roundel

Shipping out my nurse roundel to a repeat client Mon or Tues who is giving it as a gift to a friend of his who is a nurse and refused promotions to remain a nurse!
This is a densite plaster cast from a mold made from my clay original model which was based on an extant architectural sculpture on the facade of the former St Vincent’s Hospital nurses’ residence building in NYC.
The cast was given a colored tint, and then with my multi-step finishing process and techniques it was made to look just like these sculptures do on 125 year old building facades in the city.
This will be shipping in a wood crate.


More sculptures out of the kiln

Last week I fired these 3 sculptures that were dry enough, they all came out fine, the slight bit of yellow tint is some artifact in the photo under LED lighting, these are brick red and there’s no yellowish tint on them.
I think I will press another 294 keystone, another owl, and another 285 grotesque this weekend and then I’ll have enough for a couple of full kiln loads in about 3 weeks.

100 year old Brooklyn church demolished

Now you see it, now you don’t, 100 year old church demolished in Brooklyn, no one even bothered to save those hand carved stone Corinthian capitals, the arrow points to one that had crashed down and was laying in the rubble mostly intact, all of them hand carved on site. Nobody cared enough to even bother saving them.

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Revisiting some of my work on a building in Canada

A previous client contacted me out of the blue tonight, I remembered her right away when she mentioned Ontario Canada since I’ve only shipped to one client in Ontario. I forgot exactly what I sent her, but they were all concrete for her building facade, so a Google street refreshed my memory- 3 queen frieze fragments, 2 acanthus leaves and 2 griffin panels!
The griffin panels can be seen under the two windows, one the 3 queens can be seen on top of a column of stones in the 2nd photo, and an acanthus leaf in the 3rd photo. One of the views is from 2009 so it’s been a few years, now she is looking for another sculpture, we’ll see what she has in mind!

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Terracotta out of the kiln

Opened the kiln a little while ago and all the pieces came out perfect, one cherub shown was from a previous firing, a lion block was in this load not shown in the photo.
The beaver is already sold to a client, and the 2 cherubs will get stained.


West Side (Miller) Highway model finished

After I finished adjusting and gluing on the wood grille pieces onto my dry clay model I hit the whole thing with primer so I can see how it looks without the distraction of variances in color.

I’m thinking casts of this will look best in a flat or satin battleship grey like the original 1920s elevated highway this depicts was, maybe some aging/rust streaks on the grey would be even better.
I wish I had used less course clay as I had problems getting finer detailing without runing into “courseness” but it is what it is, and if I had gotten perfectly smooth fine details and lines it would look too “new” which wouldn’t have been accurate. The model depicts the scene as it was in the 1970s after decades buildup of paint, and corrosion, peeling paint etc.
This course red clay has no tendency to warp or crack as should be obvious by this panel’s size and big variations in thickness from about 1-1/4″ in the background to about 3″ on the bottom quarter, other clays I’ve used before that were smoother really warped badly, so there’s trade-offs on every clay that way.

I say this is “finished” but actually I still have to fill in all of the little slots in those slotted brass screws as they are supposed to be smooth convex shaped rivet heads.


27″ x 16-3/4″


90 Ridge St Nr 247 square lion

The first pressed terracotta of this lion came out of the kiln perfect, it wound up the same size as the originals it’s based on that came from a tenement at 90 Ridge St NYC 6″ square.

These would make very nice bookends.