'Silver Ghosts 2, and Friends' are: Pigs, cougars, polar bears, wolves, lionesses and a bear, in solid sterling silver.
This is my second line of wearable sculpture - a collection of 13 miniature animals as pendants. My first line of Silver Ghosts was funded by backers here on Kickstarter earlier this year.
As before, some of the second collection are rounder, and some are slightly flattened. Some have a skeleton etched into the back surface: their 'dark side', if you will, and one (the bear) interacts with the chain. It hangs from it as if it was climbing along it.
They will all be made in solid sterling silver.
Currently you can see all 13 as they appear in my sculpting program, as 3D prints, and as bronze metal master from which the production molds will be made.
Below are 4 and three quarter minutes of footage of the metal masters twirling about betwixt finger and thumb. Sadly no sparkling dialogue or exciting sound effects accompanies them, but you can at least see the forms in metal (bronze in this instance, although they will eventually be in silver with the 'stalks' removed of course!)...click the middle of whatever you can see below to play the video (on my computer all I can see is a very thin line, with a sliver of the word 'play' in the middle, but it works if you click that bit of a word!)
Since I've completed 10 pieces already in a previous Kickstarter (my original Silver Ghosts collection) I'm including photo's of them so you can get an idea how the new ones will turn out in silver.
Here's where I need your help:
Creating new work and getting set up and ready for casting is an expensive business!
I still need to make the metal masters and production molds on all the creatures so I can cast them in sterling silver: Pigs, cougars, polar bears, lionesses, wolves and a bear.
I also need to invest in materials such as sterling silver to bring them to fruition.
Once funded, the metal masters and production molds will take from one up to a couple of months and the casting in silver up to a couple more weeks after that.
Your pledges will enable me to do those things, and I'd love to deliver in time for the holidays (a real possibility if I get funded quickly).Besides pledges, I would really appreciate your help getting the word out if you like these, via all the usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter, email, word of mouth etc etc)
I've been sculpting traditionally using a wax based clay which is nice and squishy but holds its shape when being held, unlike the polymer clay you can bake hard that I tried briefly which always would deform between my fingers.
I enjoy the texture that the soft waxy clay imparts to the finished work since its earthy imperfections are part of its charm (as opposed to say something very mechanical looking). Quite often even fingerprints show up in the finished bronzes.
In making these tiny pieces I wanted to keep that organic feeling although trying to sculpt that small with my favorite material would be a nightmare, so I sculpted them on my computer (a fairly new-to-me method of working).
I loved the things I could do working that way, and after 3D printing in super fine detail I was pleased to see they came out just how I wanted, with just a little texture to work with.
After just the right amount of work on them at this stage, it's time to make a temporary mold and pull waxes for casting a metal master.
A durable production mold will be made for each design from the metal masters.
The waxes pulled from that mold will then be invested in a plaster-like material, burned out to create a cavity, and then filled with molten sterling silver which fills the cavities making a duplicate of what before existed in wax.
After cooling, the plaster is broken away, and the silver then cleaned up. The sprues (stalks if you prefer) are cut off, the pieces are worked to remove traces of the sprues, cleaned up some more, and then treated to achieve an antique or vintage patina.
To do that, the sterling silver is darkened with a chemical oxidizing agent, then it is buffed and tumbled to a bright shine, the darkness remaining in the texture and crevices. Darkness also resides in the skeletons of the pieces which have the skeleton on the reverse side.
Incidentally, sterling silver is 92.5% silver, and 7.5% alloyed metal to increase hardness, wearability and longevity.
There are 13 different designs for the solid silver pendants on offer:
A $65 pledge gets you any one design, and for more than one, multiples of $65 are the order of the day! So $130 gets you two, etc. Pick which ones you want after funding is over. Just let me know in the backer report you receive.
I have given each design a number, to match the photo's.
2. Pig (with reversible skeleton side)
3. Pig in corset
4. Pig in corset with wings and dancing the can-can
5. Polar bear 3D
6. Polar bear (with reversible skeleton side)
7. Howling wolf 3D
8. Howling wolf (with reversible skeleton side)
9. Walking cougar
10. Walking cougar (with reversible skeleton side)
11. Running lioness 3D
12. Running lioness (with reversible skeleton side)
The pledge structure allows you to acquire any number of the designs in the collection, from 1 all the way up to a complete set of 13, at a special Kickstarter price. If you wanted 4 for instance, you'd simply pledge for four, after which you could pick any four designs from the list (you can make your final choices after funding is over when I send out a backer report).
Each pendant will come with its own chain.
Sculpture-wise I'm an elected member of the National Sculpture Society, having shown in several of their annual shows in NYC, and a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists having shown in several of their annual shows in museums across the country.
I've also shown in several MPSGS (Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington DC) annual shows, winning awards on a couple of occasions. They are the oldest active organization of miniaturists in the United States.
I've participated in several of the prestigious National Museum of Wildlife Art (Jackson Hole, WY) shows.
My work can be found in a couple of parks here in the U.S, and a large turtle in Lake Wilcox park in Canada.
Non-sculpting-wise I've made my living with a pencil for longer than I care to remember, drawing storyboards for advertising agencies while living in London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and now Santa Fe (although these days I work at home for folks in numerous states across the U.S, just about everywhere except where I live it seems!).
Making sculpture is a way I can express my love of nature.
I am also driven to leave things of enduring value in the world.
Incidentally, all my storyboard work, once used for its intended purpose, is destined eventually for the trash! My sculpture on the other hand could be enjoyed for hundreds or even thousands of years!
Click this link to read the reviews from collectors who've acquired my work through my Etsy store, CritterVille.
Here's just a few:
LOVE this little mouse! Have purchased from this artist before and will do so again!
As an artist myself, with a strong affinity for rabbits, I am very fussy about the rabbits I add to my collection. Tiny Bianca is an absolutely perfect little bronze. I would recommend Steve's work to anyone. Also, arrived quickly. I am thoroughly delighted.
This is a lovely frog - very happy with him and his "bottle opener" feature! Gave him to my husband for Christmas - great gift! Thanks for shipping this to me so quickly. I am looking forward to purchasing one of your mice in the future!
beautiful sculpture. Cannot wait to give it for Christmas. Thank you so much.
One of my favourite artists, another hassle free transaction from this amazing store! A+++
The moment I saw Pugnacious, it was love at first sight. what an adorable little character! CritterVille is my favourite Etsy store; it's full of such outstanding creations. They take my breath away.
Once again Love at first sight! Better than pictured! Thank you again
Sprightly has so much character. Every time I look at her I just have to smile. What a talented fellow her creator is. She's so real... I expect her to rush off looking for something to nibble!
Extraordinary work of art. Feels lovely in the hand, an exquisite piece.
THE BEST gift for a beer drinking guy!! Beautiful work.
Chubby mouse makes me happy. He sits there, nibbling away, with his fat body and perky little ears, and then i find myself smiling. What more could you ever ask of art?
One more mouse is in my house, and he is quite a character. I adore these little guys. They make me smile.
beyond gorgous; he sits on my desk at work and brightens my day
I've placed Steve's work on my dining room table. My new additon to the home does double duty as a beautiful piece of art to be admired and a conversation piece for visiting guests. The perfect blend of whimsical pose and detailed, life - like art.
Gorgeous and full of character. Definitely the big hit of dad's stocking! Thank you so much, Steve - you're the best!
Love him! He now resides in my pocket.
Awww, he really is a cutie, even more so than in the photo! Adorable little mouse looking right at ya! He has a place of honor on my night table where he makes me smile.
Thanks Steve for getting her to me quickly! She was a birthday gift and my friend thought she was wonderful. Thanks again.
Sprightly is great! and amazingly life-like. He really brings a smile. I've got him on the credenza by the desk: he sits next to a display piece of pyrite that he can duck behind if he gets shy. Thanks for the quick delivery, the decorative magnets and my new friend.
It's always a thrill to learn how much collectors enjoy my work, and to find out what it means to them. Nothing fuels the ego of an artist like a healthy dose of positive feedback from all kinds of fine folks with impeccably great taste!
More of my sculpture:
Risks and challenges
Having successfully completed my first Silver Ghosts collection earlier this year, I am confident all will go well and according to plan.
If I run into any problems I'll be sure to keep everyone in the know.
- (20 days)