Juxtamorphic Art

Q: What the heck is Juxtamorphic art?

Art and Architecture—a Link Destroyed

Q: Is there a link between art and architecture?

Is Beauty Possible?

Q: What do you mean by “the beauty of nature”? Where do I find it in Manhattan?

The Amateur Tradition: The Place of Art vs. Sport in America

Q: When can an artist be considered a professional? Is amateur art as good?

Art and Pleasure

Q: Can I expect to get pleasure from art, like I get from music?

Art Criticism

Q: Should criticism of one’s work be a positive or negative experience, or both? Is this really what people go to art school for? Is any critical mention better than none?

Art as an Investment

Q: If I wanted to spend ten to twenty thousand dollars on original art, both as an investment and to decorate my house, what should I buy, and why?

Art Theories

Q: What art theories of today are going to reverse the marginalization of visual art and help it survive into the future?

Solution for Acrylic Paint Drying Too Fast

Q: I like to paint with acrylics, but as soon as they are mixed they seem to dry out. What can I do?

Annealing Bronze

Q: I need to bend a thick piece of bronze, but it is too stiff. Any ideas?

Bronze Look for Plaster

Q: I know there is a process to make plaster objects look like bronze. How is it done?

Bust in Clay

Q: I want to make a life-sized bust in ceramic clay and fire it. Are there any special precautions I have to take?

Cast Concrete Sculpture

Q: How do you go about making concrete sculpture like the kind you can buy for your garden?

Cast Marble

Q: How does one go about making sculpture in “cast marble” or “bonded marble?”

Alternative Casting Materials

Q: I would like to cast something into molds (besides plaster of Paris) that would end up looking like white marble. Should I use polyester resin or what?

Casting Sterling

Q: How hot should the oven get when burning out jewelry investments? How hot should the mold be when you cast sterling silver? Why have my castings been coming out black and pitted, with little pinholes?

Surface Treatments for Ceramics

Q: I’m making some ceramic sculpture and I don’t want to glaze it, I want to treat the surfaces differently. What can I do?

Clay vs. Slip

Q: What is the difference between slip and clay? Can I make slip just by adding water to clay?

Clay Dust

Q: My studio is piled with scraps of dry pottery clay, and it seems really dusty in there. Is this going to give me lung cancer? What can I do about it?

Clays for Sculpture

Q: I want to try doing sculpture. What kind of clay should I use?

Concrete—How to Use It?

Q: I am casting simple forms in concrete, mostly using holes in the ground for molds, and I’m looking for ways to generate different interesting forms and surfaces. Any ideas?

Concrete Textures

Q: I’m interested in experimenting with concrete to get different surface effects than the usual boring cast concrete look. Any suggestions?

Archival Digital Prints

Q: What kind of longevity can I expect from digital ink-jet, giclee, and laser toner prints? Are these prints archival if they are printed on acid-free paper?

Direct Concrete without Casting

Q: How could I make sculpture directly in concrete, without having to go through modeling a form, making a mold, and casting the concrete?

Forton MG Plaster

Q: What is this Forton MG plaster you mentioned, and where do you get it?

Foundry Practice

Q: I read that metal can be melted in a homemade charcoal-fired furnace, using an old cast-iron pot for a crucible. Is this a good idea? I want to pour about 20 lbs. of brass.

Gas, Electric, or Wood Kilns

Q: My new place in Washington State has a brick barbecue, which I plan to use for a wood-fired kiln. But the place also has heavy electricity and natural gas. Which is better for ceramics, a wood kiln, a gas kiln, or an electric kiln?

Gold Leaf

Q: How do you use gold leaf? What is the difference between gold leaf and composition leaf? Are there any metallic paints that closely simulate the look of leaf?

Carving Green Wood

Q: I’ve got some sections of tree trunk that I want to carve into figures. Can I carve it when it is still fresh, or does it need to season first? If I leave it outside (in Britain) will I need to use some kind of preservative?

Handbuilding Ceramic Sculpture

Q: How do you make armatures for handbuilding ceramic sculpture?

How to Make Holograms

Q: How do you make holograms that are visible in white light?

Making Paint

Q: I want to make my own paints from dirt, rocks, vegetables, spices, etc. I have seen paint make from colored dirt by adding a little white glue and some water. Is this going to work with everything?

Cheapest Mold Material for Clay Models

Q: I’m making models in clay that have lots of undercuts, and would like to take molds of them so I can make permanent sculptures in plaster or polyester resin. What is the cheapest thing I can use that won’t tear up the originals too badly?

Making Pictorial Mosaics

Q: How would I go about making mosaics like the Ancient Romans did?

Mosaic-surfaced Stepping Stones

Q: I want to make some concrete stepping stones with a mosaic surface. What kind of mold, concrete/aggregate mix, and setting technique should I use?

Making Sculpture in Papier Mache

Q: How do you make the paste for papier mache? Is it just flour and water? What can you build it on besides balloons?

Patination for Steel

Q: Does anyone have any recommendations for steel patination?

Raku Pottery

Q: What is Raku, and how do you do it?

Smooth Surfaces in Plastiline Clay

Q: I want to make a small sculpture in plastiline (oil-based) clay. I want to create extremely smooth flowing curves, with no tooling marks. What is the best way to achieve this result?

Is Carving Soapstone Dangerous?

Q: I’ve heard that some soapstones contain asbestos, and should be avoided by carvers. Then I heard that the soapstone itself was toxic, because it contains talc. Is this true?

Air Bubbles in Plaster

Q: When I cast plaster into a rubber mold, how can I prevent bubbles from sticking to the mould and making holes in the casting?

Carving Amber

Q: I’ve picked up some nice pieces of amber and I was wondering how to carve it.

Making Clay Pipes

Q: I want to make some clay pipes for smoking. What clays are best for resisting heat? How do you get that long tunnel to go down the stem? And how do you sculpt on them without mashing them up?

Turning Copper Green

Q: How can I turn copper and brass items green?

Faience—Egyptian Paste

Q: I’ve gotten curious about Faience, and I want to try it out. Do I need a special kiln? What is it best for, and what special treatment do I give it?

Fossil Ivory

Q: What is fossil ivory? Is it petrified? Can you carve it?

Foundations for Sculpture

Q: I’ve made some large sculptures, and I want to site them outdoors. Do I need to make a foundation for each one? That seems like it would be astronomically expensive. Do I have to bury part of the piece in the concrete while it’s wet?


Q: Where can I find information on life-casting? What are the best materials to use? What about plaster bandages, do they work?

Making Stamps for Ceramic

Q: Does anyone know how to make stamps for ceramic?

Manganese Bronze Problems

Q: I’m melting manganese bronze and it makes a lot of smoke when I pour it into my plaster investment molds. Then the castings seem to come out porous, black and pitted. What am I doing wrong?

Plaster Modeling

Q: Can I model directly in plaster of Paris, or do I have to make a mold?

Molding My Own Face

Q: I want to make a mold of my face, but I don’t know how. Do you use plaster?

Plastiline Clay

Q: What is plastiline clay and how can I mix my own?

Making Figures with Polymer Clay (Sculpy)

Q: I want to make some figures in Sculpy. Can I use a wire armature, and if so, what gauge is best? Can I add new clay to a part that’s been baked? And will it take paint?

Stone Carving

Q: I am interested in carving a piece of stone and was wondering if it can be done without a lot of fancy equipment.

Stone Cutting

Q: I have a large piece of black slate, ½ inch thick, that I’d like to use for a table top. What is the best way to cut, polish, and seal it.?