"The mass of Men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is resignation is confirmed desperation."
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
I never intended to pursue art as a profession. I was chasing the dollar, doing various jobs, until a back injury and life events put me in a bad situation. Michail was kind enough to offer me a place to stay and the guest bed in his art studio. This turned into a good opportunity for both of us, as I needed work and he needed help. Michail, being a sculptor and an acquaintance of mine, and was often in need of assistance in his studio. Producing a bronze sculptures, from inception to display, requires an incredible amount of work. Being able to make a contribution and be part of the process, learn, and be fully immersed in a fascinating new existence, was a life changing experience. I have provided a link to his website below, and will always be thankful for the experience being part of my journey.
Michail Razvan Constantine
As fortune would have it, Michail received several bronze sculpture commissions for exhibiting at Art Expo, New York, 2001. This brought with it ample work and an immovable show date. The above photograph shows a new mold being created, so that what was sculpted in clay may be replicated into various mediums, including bronze.
Art has a tendency to create feeding frenzies. Interest begets interest, and at moments in time, an artist can become overwhelmed with work or sell out a show. After producing the first pieces, requests came in for more pieces for the exhibition. With an absolute deadline, it became a matter of how many pieces could be produced in time for the show. The above photo depicts final adjustments of the positive wax image, freshly cooled and extracted from the mold. Correcting imperfections in the wax, at this stage, is desirable over correcting the final reproduction.
This image shows part of the lost wax process. During the lost wax process, the wax piece will be dipped and dried, several times, in a mixture of liquid ceramic clay, until a thick shell of ceramic clay has hardened over the wax. The now coated piece will be fired in a kiln, melting the wax away and leaving a very hard, hollow, ceramic shell. The now hollow ceramic is buried in sand, for support, and receives the molten bronze through the cups and races that are attached to facilitate pouring. The bronze replaces the wax, hence "lost wax process."
Michail developed unique wax processes for creating bronze sculptures. His extensive knowledge of the lost wax process enables him to produce pieces which are completely original. Very few artists invent original processes. This truly makes him a world class master sculptor.
I am seen here with successful artist Lori Kanary, holder of a Guinness Book of World Records recognition award, also helped in the studio. Her career path and direction, as an artist, was instrumental in influencing my philosophy of art. I have provided a link below.
Artist Stephen Reaves and Artist Lori Kanary in Michail's studio 2001.
Taking a brief break, while at Art Expo, to take in the Statue of Liberty. 2001 Art Expo New York
A view from the hotel, Art Expo 2001, New York City.