Fine Art in Solid Surface
Asked about what took me from the "mud pies" in French Creek, Pa to the Dust Pile in my SW Florida shop today, ending up with my art works trickled about the world ...
Being very fortunate in having a loving, strong foundation with my family and friends believing in what I do has been the greatest part of making this happen ... an adoration of natures creations in all the wonderful and delicate balance of their part of sharing this world with us has always been a great inspiration. When the natural setting was not readily at hand and available, trying to create what I so enjoyed growing up in the country was the next best thing for a comfort zone for me .... sharing that comfort zone with others is most enjoyable too!!
Asked How did you get started with art in solid surface ...
My Brother Dave Savage, knowing my art side and being partial to my work :-), introduced me to Corian® in 1987 when some pilot friends, who were co-owners of a company called CFI in Miami, mentioned that they were in search of an artist to relief carve an intricate Victorian floral design in Corian® ... he said, “My sister could do that for you!” He called me up and said, ”Hey Beck, can you carve in Corian®?” I said, ”Sure, What in the heck is it??!!” I went to Miami where the company, CFI, introduced me to the material that to my amazement turned into a most incredible art medium to create with!! Must tell you that it is very dusty to work this material when carving and you need to wear a mask and be willing to sit in a dust pile for long periods of time ... which, to me, was a small inconvenience for all that it offers in the creative department!! The sample piece that I made for this project is in a Kitchen and Bath showroom located just outside Washington DC ... the owner bought this piece at a silent auction held at a designers function in Bethesda Maryland. This contact happened as I was in Maryland carving a leaf pattern in 65 running feet of countertop for a 1902 mansion. Phil Lande connected me with the right people for this carving to happen. He was a Corian® sales Rep for the Corian® distributor Parksite I met through Tom Minisce owner of Creative HomeWorks in Ft. Myers.
In working with DuPont Company and DuPont Corian® I found that the company is made up of good people going at a very fast pace the majority of the people I worked with were lovingly called "runners". They are forever onto the next phase of something new traveling so much that they seem to only have touch downs in their own home ... it is a very demanding type of life style from what I could see!! They seemed to enjoy the fact that they could still dream on the job when they would work with me to create something totally unique for someone special ... I enjoy the fact that my clients have a part in the creative process with me ... feeding me thoughts of what they enjoy or taking the time to investigate and find out what the person they are rewarding enjoys ... making the sculpture, mural or what ever the niche to fill may require!!
Whether the work is for residential or commercial it can have the essence of that special individual person or business in mind when being created to place it "over the top" just for them because it is after all custom made!! And when you get right down to it we are all custom made and works in progress!! :-) I think people like being a part of the creative process. It seems when they realize they don't need a degree in the arts simply by sharing their thoughts with an artists who is able to take thoughts and ideas, compose and put them through their own creative processes together they can make something quite unique happen!
I have folks ask me what is my favorite thing to create ... my answer to this is simply the next best thing!! :-)
They ask me how do you do this ... my answer is practice, practice, practice and lots of time spent in a dust pile!! After seeing my portfolio I had Bob Hamilton the director of Art Guild, a company who arranges and creates DuPont Corian®'s show expo displays, say to me, “When do you sleep?!” I said, ”When I have to!”
Asked how long does it take to make something ... remembering my work is all custom, for the most part I can work well within a one to two month deadline for clients once the design has been decided on and the material is in hand. Factors in the time also depend on the type of carving and the techniques used to create ... for instance, a simple etching, which can be quite stunning in the darker colors of solid surface, can take a matter of hours to create. Add in more intricacies, inlays, color details and it can turn into days. A relief carving can take a day, a week, two weeks ... how big or small again how detailed, painted, filled to take the surface back to a flat surface all add more time and techniques used!! So the best thing to do is to see what area they are interested in decorating, we share thoughts on cost and ideas, I do the conceptual design drawings and present them with a contract/proposal and we take it from their! From sharing ideas to a visual art piece that they can share with others. Additional part of the beauty of these carvings is that they are touchable fine art ... not only can you enjoy looking but you can add to your visual by using your sense of touch!!
Asked how big was the biggest piece ... I don’t know ... I am always looking forward to doing the next biggest!! :-)
Asked what has been the most multiple piece created from one design ... that number is over 1000 per design from small awards to shower walls in a large Orlando resort.
Asked who helped me have my work known, seen and placed around the world .... The dusty trial has taken me beginning with the introduction of Corian® by my brother Dave, Mike Duggan sharing his wonderful writing skills telling what I do, to and beyond creating works of art for in the home of Jack and Jan Krol. Jack is a former CEO of DuPont Company who along with other executives have now placed my artwork about the world!! There are many, many, many kind and caring folks, who have been and still are a big part of what I do. Generous enough to share what I do with others to help me onto the next best work of art with my dusty creative business. I must tell you that all are most appreciated and cherished by myself!! :-)
My original e-mail address was and still is IMDUSTY@aol.com
I created the website on my own ... talk about the left side and right side of the brain clashing!!! Technical and Whimsical all in one bundle can be very intense coupled with learning and applying a whole new language to make something happen ... I turned into a computer hermit for about three months to get it figured out along with the help and knowledgeable some very patient folks in internet/cyber world!! Must say that once I started to get the hang of it it was most interesting and pretty darn fun!! I am hoping that folks will find the virtual gallery helpful in opening new thoughts for the not so linear side of Corian!
The Secretary of DuPont Company afforded me her expertise in writing the following after seeing my website. I thought it was most helpful in combining art with Corian and thought you may be interested in seeing it too!!
Corian® is the unique product made by DuPont which
Written by Veronica “Ronnie” Thomas % DuPont Company
If you have questions please feel free to contact me!