Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Sculptor's Tools

Here is a selection of my wooden modelling and finishing tools.  I like to have beautiful tools as they inspire me.  Many of these I spent hours carving, finishing, sanding, and sealing to make the perfect tool.  These tools are carved from jet black African ebony, cocobolo, purpleheart, rosewood.

Ebony is my favorite wood to carve tools from as it is incredibly dense and almost entirely without pitted grain.  It sands to a glass finish!  Ebony is not to EVER be dropped as it snaps into pieces on impact, being so dense and fine grained.

Some of these tools are from estate auctions.  For years I would hunt for the old world, well-made tools at auction.  Some of my tools are initialed by bygone sculptors, and some belonged to my teachers, such as the late Laci Degerenday and his wife Elisabeth Gordon Chandler.  The tiny tool at the bottom was purchased from their estate and to me represents the sweet tradition of passing the torch.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Update on the Mad Faience Project

There are 13 days remaining in the pledge drive for the Mad Faience Project.  There are many who have expressed interest in pledging.  Pledging now will encourage others to pledge too.  Pledge today to receive great rewards (art prints, original works of art, etc).  

Click here to visit the fundraiser page and pledge

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Press Release: The Mad Faience Project, Feb. 13, 2012

February 13, 2012

Maryland sculptor using Kickstarter to revive lost Egyptian medium in modern works

Frederick, MD – Reviving Egyptian faience for use in detailed figure sculptures, Majesty and Innocence is a ground-breaking project being undertaken by Maryland sculptor Gavin Gardner. 

After much research and testing, Gardner, a classically trained figure sculptor, has developed a recipe and techniques successfully resulting in small faience works. He now plans to take his endeavor further by producing a series of detailed figures representing the majesty and innocence of the human spirit.

In keeping with the innovative tone of the project, blending ancient artistry with modern skill and resources, Gardner selected Kickstarter as a venue for project backing because it provides supporters an opportunity to share in the effort by enjoying the direct rewards of the project. The Mad Faience Project is available on Kickstarter until March 4, 2012.

With the support of Kickstarter backers, Gardner's work will represent the first to be rendered in faience since ancient times, an endeavor which will serve as a boon to the arts with its blend of modern knowledge, classical art influences and inherent timeless beauty.

Invented by the Egyptians and adopted by the Romans until it faded from use during the era of the Roman Empire, replicating the complex composition and methods of creating faience has eluded modern scholars.  Many have tried but failed to accurately recreate the blue ceramic material that was once prevalent in Egyptian art, and detailed works have not been produced since the Roman Empire.

Mimi Leveque, a leading conservator of antiquities and renowned expert in Egyptology and faience, who has consulted with Gardner and provided valuable insight and guidance, said if the Mad Faience Project succeeds in producing detailed Faience works, “It would be the first time since antiquity.”

Developing a passion for the material after seeing photos of ancient artifacts made from the material, Gardner worked tirelessly for more than four years, driven by a desire to see the stunning material used for modern works. Consulting leading experts from around the world, Gardner's research has blended with his knowledge and skills as a sculptor to bring faience back to life so that the world can once again enjoy its beauty outside the walls of museums.

The introduction of a new sculpting medium adding to the traditional lists of stone and clay materials is also vital to the enrichment of the work of artists as they engage in the pursuit of introducing new and beautiful masterpieces for posterity.

Working and living in Frederick, Md, Gardner is a graduate of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and has focused his career on honoring the spirit of the classical masters, with a large portion of his portfolio devoted to the human figure and liturgical pieces.

To view The Mad Faience Project, including a detailed description of the material and its history as well as examples of Gardner's work, visit:
Images of Gardner's fine art sculpture and paintings can be found at:

For further information or to schedule an interview, Gardner can be reached at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Update on the Mad Faience Project

YES!  there are pledges!  There is still much more funds that need to be raised in 26 days.

Please visit the following link to pledge! (and purchase artwork, prints, and other cool things).

Mad Faience Project

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Mad Faience Project Kickstarter Fundraiser Begins

My Kickstarter project "The Mad Faience Project" is LIVE! Pledge now to receive great rewards! I will be producing New sculptures in a lost Egyptian material! With your support, we can help revive and ancient Egyptian sculpture medium! 

Pledging ends on March 4!  And please spread the word!  Click below to pledge!

Online Pledge Drive Goes LIVE!