Casting bronze was my first artistic collaboration. Working the black wax with my fingers and delicate dental tools to create the forms, then taking the figures to the foundry where a mold is made, placing the mold with the wax figures inside a roasting furnace, and filling the melted void of wax with molten bronze. The mold is then removed from the furnace, broken open and the now bronze figures removed. The figures are assembled together, with my instruction and a patina is applied.
I began thinking about marble. I sent my Burmese friend up north to Mandalay and then on
to Sagaing where pure white marble is quarried. He returned to Rangoon with a block about one foot square, no cracks or imperfections with the fresh maw marks still evident on the sides. The quality of the marble was as fine as any Michelangelo or Bernini has ever brought from Carrera Italy.
I knew of a master carver in the outskirts of Rangoon and brought the block of marble to him. I had photographs of human skulls and even a real one which my friend a medical student procured from his medical studies. I visited many times to inspect the progress and finally after eight months when the skull was complete, even being hollowed out with thin walls of marble, it looked real. So real in fact that customs in Burma made me remove it from the case where I had it packed to show them that it was stone and not bone.
The other eye socket should contain a replica eyeball. I found a Brazilian gem dealer in Hong Kong who had a spherical star rose quarts of 97 carats. I bought it. The crystal was perfectly clear rosy pink with a strong golden star. To create the effect of an eyeball I needed a cornea and an iris with a pupil. I had a polished eyeball quartz agate which I had purchaced years ago in Brazil. Every eyeball in the agate had an extending crack except one. I had that one cut out, drilled the rose quartz, and anchored the eyeball agate into the rose sphere. It was set so perfectly a fingernail could not detect a ridge.
My biggest collaborative effort to date, more than two years in the making, from the quarrymen to the carver, the molder, the metal casters, jewelers, stone setters, gemologists, conceptualists, dreamers, and madmen, here you have one of the most remarkable works of art ever assembled. Welcome.