This four-foot, hanging sculpture was completed in 1991. The medium is extreme paper mache over a steel armature. It is painted with both acrylic and enamel paints.
Paper mache is a very old technique. Paper strips are soaked in an adhesive. They are formed into a shape and allowed it to dry. Paper mache objects have been found in Egyptian tombs. Chinese war helmets have been discovered dating back before E.B.C. The American colonies had a thriving industry using paper mache to create such furniture pieces as chest and tables.
This piece was designed to prove that the paper mache could be viable sculpture medium and that forms and shapes could extend beyond the strength the paper. This could be accomplished by constructing a steel armature. I also developed a proprietary adhesive which I taught in my paper mache classes. A small renaissance evolved as many of my former students began showing their work in galleries around Santa Monica, California.
Why the image of the griffins?
It is said that only poets, mad men and children can see griffins during times of great change and cataclysm. The griffin is an interesting combination of the body of lion, which symbolizes strength and the head and wings of an eagle, which symbolizes wisdom.
The symbol of the griffin is significant today as we enter into a time of great change, both global and within ourselves, as we witness and react to what is happening in the world.
The message of the griffin is simple: We need both strength and wisdom to survive times of apocalyptic change.
Note: These are the only two images which have survived. Somewhere this sculpture is hanging in the back of the carpentry shop on my farm.