When I was a kid my 5th grade art teacher showed us how to make free-form, triangle-based structures out of toothpicks and Duco cement. This was in 1953, just a couple of years after Buckminster Fuller developed the idea for his geodesic domes at Black Mountain College.
The trouble was that Duco cement took a while to harden, and I was an impatient 10 year-old with manual dexterity issues. My efforts were a mess.
I turned my attention elsewhere. At Yale, I studied anthropology and took several history of art courses. I loved Goya and Breughel, Inca stone masonry, the giant Olmec heads. When I started doing modern abstract sculpture I focused on the work of the 20th century trailblazers: Miro, Arp, Calder, Noguchi, and Henry Moore. For almost thirty years, I worked in marble, plaster and bronze. The shapes of my pieces were soft, smooth, and undulating.
Just recently, though, the triangle thing came back and bit me. This time, instead of toothpicks I used birchwood rods, some as thick as my thumb, others thicker than the handle of a shovel.
The results are a series of jagged triangle-based clusters. I think of them as clouds, because most of them work best hanging from the ceiling. But others sit well on horizontal surfaces. And they look no more like a geodesic dome than Candice Bergen looks like Donald Duck.
The early pieces were smallish -- the size of a rather overfed house cat. As the work progressed, they became more the size of golden retrievers. The most recent pieces are bigger than a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. This was quite gratifying. It has always been my belief that the bigger the work, the greater the emotional impact. And emotional impact is what we are looking for here.