Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eurasian Tree Sparrow for Popo (grandmother)

Below is a time-lapse video showing the making of a needle felted wool Eurasian tree sparrow.  The sparrow is made of wool around a steel wire armature.  The story behind this piece is that it is a birthday present for my grandmother who is turning 93 this year.  I chose this particular species of bird because of something she once told me.  My grandmother is a very talented painter and she studied traditional chinese painting when she lived in Taiwan many years ago.  She has several of her paintings hanging around her apartment and a few of her paintings of bamboo groves have sparrows depicted flying around the bamboo trees.  When I asked her about them she explained to me that her instructor was a famous painter himself and was very difficult to impress.  But whenever he was particularly impressed by a student's painting he would add his own sparrows to it.  My grandmother has therefore always treasured these painted sparrows.  I thought the Eurasian tree sparrow was most likely the species her instructor had depicted as it is native to both China and Taiwan, and my hope is that it will hold special meaning for her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8VyGb_jUNA










Thursday, March 31, 2016

Birds for the Princess

This past winter I made a set of 3 native Japanese birds for Princess Takamado of the Japanese imperial family.  It was truly an honor for me because totally aside from the fact that she is royalty, the princess is a really impressive lady!  She is a professional nature photographer and writer, speaks fluent French and English and holds a PhD.  She also is a passionate wildlife conservationist, and by wildlife conservationist I mean she is currently the honorary president of Birdlife International!   Birdlife International is an umbrella organization encompassing the most important bird conservation organizations from around the world, such as the Audubon Society.

Princess Takamado specifically asked me to make 3 birds, a Japanese waxwing, a Bohemian waxwing and a Japanese crested ibis because they are some of her favorites and they are all native to Japan.  The Japanese crested ibis in particular is special to her because it has become a symbol for wildlife conservation in Japan.  They are one of the world's most rare and endangered ibis species and in fact went extinct in Japan in 2003.  Their numbers had dwindled to 7 individuals in Shaanxi China but have since been slowly recovering due to conservation and captive breeding programs in both China and Japan.  The Japanese crested ibis was reintroduced in Japan in 2008.

Japanese crested ibis







Japanese waxwing






Bohemian waxwing





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chimpanzee time-lapse

Watch a time-lapse video of the making of the Chimpanzee here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPBz5UAcfzM
                             

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Common Chimpanzee

In April I was contacted by Andrew Zuckerman about participating in a group exhibit he was curating for a gallery in NYC called Chamber.  He was looking for something large-scale and life-size so eventually we decided on a life-size chimpanzee.  Of course this was a much more ambitious project than anything I'd ever taken on before so I was not at all sure I was even capable of doing it, but I've always wanted to try something larger because of the level of detail and fidelity it would allow me to achieve.  It took me three months of full-time work and it would never have been possible without the help of my wife Emma who took on extra work around the farm and basically kept me alive while I was working on this project.  
The piece is on display from now until January as part of Chamber Collection #2 

Photo by Andrew Zuckerman







Friday, March 27, 2015

Winter 2014-2015


Praying mantis





Screech owl







Seahorse




Eastern grey squirrel (with acorn)









Hercules beetle







Leatherback sea turtle









Red Fox





Northern white-faced owl








Common Raven







Hippopotamus




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