Voices of the Delta: Michael Warrick

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beacon Content, Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Uncategorized, Voices of the Delta

Michael Warrick, Youth, 2017, bronze, cor-ten, 82 x 17 x 17 inches

Youth is number two in edition of five. The creation of this piece grew out my interest in creating a sculpture that portrays someone who is still growing and maturing. Its design approach is that of a wild Arkansas vine growing and developing as a young woman.  Nestled in the upper left side of the figure is the soul of the work – a small cast bronze songbird that has 23 karat gold leaf on the surface.

This work was developed through a basic drawing and then translated to a computer drawing using the 3-D Rhino computer program. From there the work was further developed into a more complex vine-oriented figure that could be 3-D printed in numerous sizes. The first 3-D print of the figure was at a small scale of 7 inches. When I saw the figure realized in this scale, I had a strong desire to have it scaled up to life-size. During the summer of 2017 I was able to secure funding for the life size 3-D print that would be in five pieces. These 3-D prints are created from a PLA plastic known as polylactic acid which is a biodegradable plastic that is derived from corn starch. Once printed the pieces were coated with a thin layer of sculpting wax and invested in a plaster and sand mold. From there the mold forms were put into a kiln and fired at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit for five days and then removed to have molten bronze poured into the cavity of the molds. Once the molds were cooled, the five pieces were cleaned, assembled, sanded, sandblasted, colored, gold leafed and placed on the cor-ten steel base.

– Michael Warrick

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