An inspiration takes form as Martin works on a sculpture

We have mentioned numerous times on this blog of how inspired Martin is by beetles, moths, lizards and other creatures, along with their unique habitats.  This is evident in many of the bespoke hardware designs found in our collections.

One of the most fascinating creatures are beetles.  We have studied many of them and even owned a pair of Hercules Beetles we fondly named Boris and Natasha.  While they are no longer with us, they did provide Martin with a great deal of information as to their form and lifestyle and he has begun working on a one-of-a-kind sculpture partially inspired by the study of Boris and Natasha.

Martin is making a large sculpture of 2 fighting stag beetles. The concept came from a piece he did many years ago in England.  He carved this piece out of ebony as this wood is close in color to the stag beetle and also, because at this point in our careers we had neither the money nor the audience to sell such art pieces cast in expensive bronze. It is our hope that there may now be an audience for a bronze sculpture such as this.  The current sculpture is of 2 stag beetles in battle on a large piece of bark.  One problem we have encountered was how to cast the bark.  We thought we could actually use a nature made piece so we went in search of a suitable tree.  We have an amazing Pepper tree in our
front garden but could not use it without fear of damage. So we got in contact with our arborist —– Victoria Monson and her husband Daryl of C.O. Arboritsts and they very kindly offered to keep us posted of any suitable trees they were felling. So when a large oak was marked for felling Martin drove to Pasadena and chose the best section of trunk to use as a pattern for the bark sculpture.

The photos follow the process of preparing the tree trunk, shaping it so that it could be used as the pattern for the bark sculpture.  Normally Martin would actually sculpt his patterns from “thin air” as his creative imagination came to life in wax or wood. But since there is a lot of beautiful bark available he decided to manicure an actual tree trunk.

In order, these photos show how he chose the section and then chiseled it to essentailly form a trench. The next step was to make a barricade around the recessed trench by nailing strips of wood to form an outer wall and the last photo shows how the trough was filled with clay to make this area level.

Selecting wood piece to prepare for sculpture photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Selecting wood piece to prepare for sculpture
photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

Chiseling wood trench photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Chiseling wood trench
photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

Nailing surround to create barrier to hold clay photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Nailing surround to create barrier to hold clay
photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

Adding clay to create level area on wood sculpture photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, CA  90016

Adding clay to create level area on wood sculpture
photo by Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, CA 90016

The next step in the sculpting process will be preparing the mold…

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware or custom bronze sculptures, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

323 939 5929

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About martinpierceblog

Martin and Anne Pierce live in Los Angeles California with their beloved rescue dog, Iris. Martin's custom designs reflect his love of nature and include beautiful vine and fern drawer pulls, a realistic yet whimsical collection of bugs and other critters on door hardware and charming floral designs on everything from door levers to bathroom accessories. He also enjoys creating sculptural contemporary pieces that are easy to access for those with limited physical capabilities. All of Martin's designs are hand carved and cast in their Los Angeles studio where there is truly something for everyone. Please contact us with any questions or custom queries
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