How long have you been creating your light sculptures?
When I first began in 1964, it was strictly a hobby. But by the early 70s I had had two successful one-man shows, one in Anchorage the other in Honolulu, and was by then phasing out of my architectural career and getting "serious" about being an artist. Currently, I've been following this path in my original medium for over 50 years.
How many have you made over those years?
Although my recent records are more complete, I don’t have an accurate count of my total production over the many years I've been creating them. My best guess is somewhere over 2000.
What are they made of?
The "skin" is a fine grade of tissue, laminated in small pieces in a paper-mache' fashion, using a brush and a dilute solution of white glue. There are over a dozen layers of paper on each piece making them quite durable and giving them good longevity. With proper care they will last indefinitely. The frames are made from thin wood slats, bamboo or basket reed, put together with hot melt glue. They all are wired with one or more standard based sockets that will take either incandescent, compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.
How do you clean them?
I recommend periodic "dusting" of them with a vacuum cleaner using the brush attachment. This will remove any dust that has settled on them and any insects that have met their demise inside them. If fly spots appear they can be removed with a damp cloth.
Can they be put outside?
These are created for interior use only. Although for special occasions I have hung them outside temporarily, weather permitting.
Are they fireproof?
In some commercial applications, due to building codes, I have coated them with a fire retardant. In most cases (residential) this is not required. They are wired safely and there is sufficient air space around the bulbs to give them there own inherent fire "resistance". If the building is on fire they will burn, but they will never start the fire.
Are they UL approved?
I use all UL approved parts in wiring them but the light sculptures themselves are not UL labeled. In cases where UL labeling is required, it can be had for an additional cost.
Do you draw them first?
No. For me this is a purely sculptural process. The designs emerge as I bend and work with the wood.
Do you ever use color?
I like and have used color on some of my simpler designs. For the most part the more complex sculptural pieces have the "trademark" color white. The quality of light that comes through the all white pieces truly deserves the name I call them, Luminessence. For color I generally will use Japanese or other hand made papers.
Will they discolor in time?
In time they gain a patina that is a mellow amber shade. Although some prefer that look, time is a factor.
Are you the only one creating this work?
Over the years I have trained a small number of apprentices. One such person, William Leslie, is still creating pieces in this medium over 35 years later. I am willing to pass on my techniques to interested individuals who wish to pursue their own creative visions in this medium. I want it to live on.
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