Where would you like to go next?
1) How much does a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture cost?
2) What is the difference between "fixed" and "freestyle"?
3) What is the difference between carved wood and the two stage process?
4) What is it like to handle a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture?
5) How long does it take to complete a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture?
6) How is the attire/clothing created?
7) What is meant by a time frame and a waiting list?
8) Who are the clients for BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures?
9) What types of control systems are there?
10) What if a client does not like the final sculpture?
11) How are they delivered and how should I transport them?
12) Are BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures your full time occupation?
13) How does someone order a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture?
14) What kind of concepts have a better chance of being created?
15) You state that you will be making only a few more BIGHEADS. What do you mean?
16) A final word about my "one-of-a-kind" mechanical sculptures.
How much does a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture cost?
Cost is always the most difficult phase of any artistic endeavor because all art is subjective and it can be said that the the value of any piece of art is what a person is willing to spend for it. Some consider art an investment, while others find a personal attachment. The purpose an individual may have for purchasing any piece of art varies greatly. I cannot say if any particular BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture will increase or decrease in value. I am simply the artist and my job is to strive to create a sculpture that I am proud of, and that will make each client very happy.
Since each BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is hand sculpted from scratch, the price depends upon a variety of factors. The basic components, are as follows;
a) The base cost (the starting price for all mechanical sculptures)
b) The animations desired.
c) The complexity of design. (the actual sculpting, creating the attire, mechanical configurations, control setups, etc).
d) Whether the sculpture is to be "fixed" or "freestyle" in design.
e) Whether the sculpture is to be created from wood or using the two stage process (recommended).
f) The time frame involved. Sculpting takes an enormous amount of time from my usual schedual, with BIGHEADS taking 3 months to a year to complete (sometimes more).
g) The overall effect on my health (I am allergic to the material and the inspiration I feel for each commission is weighed against the risk).
For more information on pricing, please refer to the "pricing and options" page.
What is the difference between "fixed" and "freestyle"?
FIXED: This type of BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is a caricature based on a particular person, animal or fantasy figure. They are created by using strict guidelines such as drawings or photographs as reference materials. If sketches are required, they will be submitted to the client for approval. This method allows the client to get a basic idea of how the final sculpture will appear when finished.
FREESTYLE: Far and away, the most popular type of BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures.
Freestyle sculptures are created by the client submitting a brief (usually only five or six sentences) description of the characters traits. These traits include the gender, age, general personality and disposition (quirks). I take this information and combine it with the research I have conducted on the client, to see if there is enough chemistry to inspire me to create the sculpture. Their unique creation allows the character the freedom to create itself, since there are no guidelines to dictate how it should look. A freestyle mechanical sculpture involves trust and patience from both the client and me. It is extremely important to erase any pre-conceived visuals of how the final sculpture should appear. With freestyle, neither then client, nor myself know what the final sculpture will look like until it has been finished.
What is the difference between carved wood and "two stage" process?
Carved wood is exactly what it implies. BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures carved from wood are considerably more expensive, due to the additional time involved and type of wood used. Clients who desire a mechanical figure carved from wood usually desire a more traditional look and feel. Keep in mind that carved wood figures do appear different than their "two stage" counterparts. Take a look at the "gallery page" for a better idea on how they differ in appearance. As of Jan. 1st, 2007, I retired from carving wood on a commission basis and currently only create a few BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures per year (using the two-stage method).
The "two stage" process involves a 2 part epoxy/resin. When mixed properly they form a pliable (clay like) compound, which has a few hours of sculpting time before it cures into a rigid and extremely hard material.
Since I consider myself more a sculptor than a wood carver, I personally prefer the "two-stage" process. Sculpting with my hands allows me thee freedom to pull out more of the characters personality, which emerges during the sculpting phase of construction. Due to its rigid properties, sculptures created using the "two stage" process are more delicate in nature. However, proper care and common sense when handling and traveling will ensure a life, which is just as long (if not longer) than their carved wood counterparts.
What is it like to handle a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture?
First of all it is VERY important to remember that my mechanical sculptures are not ventriloquist figures (although I am honored that some of the worlds best entertainers choose to use them as such). When you see a performer with one of my mechanical sculptures, you are witnessing an actual "one-of-a-kind" work of art in action.
BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures are unique in every sense of the word, and their operational characteristics take some time to practice and master. Their enormous heads and small "penguin style" bodies take some getting used to, but once basic manipulation is mastered, the results are hilarious. BIGHEADS can be slightly hevier that regular figures and their controls are also unique (with various setups to choose from). These controls will take a period of patience to become proficient. Familiarity and patience will payoff in a multitude of facial animations and movements.
How long does a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture take to complete?
The actual creation time for each BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is different for each piece and depends upon a variety of factors, including accommodating my filming schedule (if any).
I begin by reviewing a concept submitted by an individual (and all the options requested) and see if it inspires me in some way. I then make the decision if it is something I would like to invest the time and energy into sculpting, and formulate a price estimate. When the estimate is approved by the client, a time frame is reserved to start the project by making a non refundable deposit (½ the estimated price). It must be understood that I cannot reserve a time frame without receiving a deposit. Doing so would not be fair to my other clients. More information on the deposit and option choices can be found on the "pricing and options" page.
The time it takes for the actual sculpting process depends primarily upon inspiration. Sometimes the inspiration is relentless and I work till I drop, while other projects need to be set aside for a while, until I am inspired to work upon them again. I DO NOT work on any BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures unless inspired to do so. They are pieces of functional art, built entirely from scratch and cannot be rushed or forced in any way. I have completed some in as little as 6 weeks, while others have taken 12 months (or longer). Whatever the case, each BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is very special and they must be allowed to dictate the course of its own creation. The actual sculpting time on each is the same and every sculpture receives the same amount of care and quality in their creation. I am extremely careful not to rush the process in any way.
How is the attire/clothing created?
Just like the head and hands, the clothing is literally sculpted onto the bodies of all BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures (with the exceptions of some earlier works). I discovered that sculpting and customizing the attire results in a better overall effect for the character and personality of the piece. Each article of clothing on current BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures is carefully applied on a layer of adhesive, with the wrinkles and details painstakingly sculpted into place. While some accessories are purchased, most are hand sculpted. The process of creating and sculpting the perfect attire/clothing is just as intensive as the actual sculpting of the character itself.
What is meant by a time frame and a waiting list?
A time frame is a block of time set aside to BEGIN the creation process. It is important to understand that each BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is actually a piece of functional art which takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. It is my style and technique to work on two or more different artistic projects at any particular time, as this enables me to move from one to the other (keeping the inspiration process fresh for each project). While I receive concept submissions all the time, I am forced to select only those which inspire me enough to dedicate the time and labor required to create them. When the number of commissions exceeds my capacity to create, a waiting list results. A non-refundable deposit reserves a time frame, so it is strongly advised to order far in advance to ensure adequate time to complete the sculpture.
Who are the clients for BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures?
My clients mostly consist of private art collectors, corporate interior designers, large and small businesses seeking original displays, and the finest entertainers from around the world.
Art collectors and designers come to me because they desire my highly stylized look and feel of my sculptures, which enhance any environment with originality and a sense of elegance. They desire something entirely unique, and the only one like it in the entire world.
Entertainers and performers come to me because they desire my unique approach and methods of creating "signature" sculptures, which are tailor made exclusively for them. "Figure makers" usually offer a "line" of similar characters, which are either duplicates, pre-casted or replicated by using a machine that carves a duplicate from an original. Still others simply take an existing figure and "modify its features to create what they call "original". Whatever the case, most "figures" still remain simply one in a line of similar figures. I DO NOT use any pre-casted parts or molds and do not usually refer to my sculptures as "figures" (although it does come in handy when talking to performers and entertainers). Let me state that I say all of this with the highest admiration and respect for the ventriloquist figure builders today. There are some amazing individuals who keep this art form alive, by offering their talents in building quality figures.
Although used by the worlds best performers, my BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures are pieces of sculptural art and should be treated as such. This is very important and should be considered by each client before ordering. The words "one-of-a-kind" means exactly that…. One-of-a-kind sculptures.
What types of control systems are there?
The actual combinations and possibilities are limitless. I have designed a myriad of designs, yet three remain the most popular for BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures.
a) The traditional headstick design.
b) The "Vaudeville pistol grip".
c) The "headstick free" design.
If none is specified in the commision, I create the traditional configuration. For more information on these and other control configurations, please refer to the pricing and options page of this website.
What if a client does not like the final sculpture?
I include this question because it is an honest one. My success as an artist depends a lot on the happiness of my clients. My sculptures are literally pieces of mechanical art and art can be very subjective at times . It is important that each client fully understand my signature style, technique and method of approach to my sculptures. All "freestyle" BIGHEADS are spontaneous and therefore free to dictate the course of their own creation. Every artist has their own style and how they interpret what is inside of them. Therefore, it is best to understand that each client is actually investing in my imagination in 3-dimensional form. Since the deposit is nonrefundable, I strongly urge anyone considering a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture to examine all of my sculptures on the gallery page and make sure that my "style" and methods are what they truly desire.
How are the final sculptures delivered and how should I transport them?
The price for packaging and shipping these mechanical sculptures is not included in the original price estimate. This is mainly because there are so many variables and options for the client. First, the final weight is not known, or exactly how much it will take to package each piece when their delivery time comes. The packaging is now all taken care of by someone who specializes in BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures. The actual price for delivery varies by the weight, date, delivery company chosen and the method of shipment (ground, air, overnight, etc.). At this point in the process, things are out of my hands, as I can only supply the information for the client to make their choice on which method works best for them. Click button to see how they are handled.
As far as transportation and movement of a mechanical sculpture, it is always important to point out that BIGHEADS are one-of-a-kind creations and therefore intended for collections and displays, where movement from place to place is very limited and handled with the highest degree of care. That said, I do understand that professional entertainers prefer to use BIGHEADS in their performances. Most prefer to custom pad an ATA case (durable and dependable for such purposes). the actual padding should be cut and installed by a professional to ensure proper protection from the shock and sudden movements of travelling). Another option would be to purchase "limited rights". This authorizes the performer to have ONE (1) copy made of their BIGHEAD sculpture (for personal use, not for sale). A few performers have chosen to do this, and keep the original sculpture on display. More information can be provided on pricing and options page. It is important to remember that ALL COSTS ARE FINAL with no refunds (so please be sure all aspects of commissioning a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture are fully understood..
Are BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures your full time occupation?
Simply put, no... Creating BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures are one facet of my artistic ventures. I have been an artist all my life, but these sculptures are a hobby, not a business. The actual cost of a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture doesn't come close close to justifying the long hours and tremendous amount of labor that goes into creating each sculpture from scratch. I believe this is why each BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture is so unique in appearance. They are truly created from a deep love and respect for the art.
How does someone order a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture?
I strongly recommend anyone interested in ordering a mechanical sculpture to carefully read and fully understand all the appropriate pages on this website (dedicated to BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures). My style, methods and approach to creating these sculptures is radical to say the least. If considering a "freestyle" sculpture, the most important step is to erase any pre-conceived visuals of how the figure should look. Neither the client nor I have any idea of what the sculpture will look like until it has been finished. There are no previews given as the sculpture continually changes during the creation process and may continue changing right up to the time of shipping.
BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures are a considerable investment and the purchase is actually the commissioning of art from me. Once a client has read and fully understands the entire concept of BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures, they can then submit a concept for consideration.
When submitting a concept for possible consideration, please type in the following code into the subject heading of the email...
I ask this, as it gives me a way to see how many prospective clients actually have taken the time to read all the information on this site, before contacting me.
What types of concepts have a better chance of being created?
That is completely up to the client, but I love challenging ones... However that answer may be too simplistic. A LOT depends upon all the variables involved. I can honestly say that the most simple sounding concepts end up being the most challenging and producing the best results.
It is important to understand that I am only creating a few more sculptures. This means I ONLY choose concepts that inspire me the most. The best submissions are those that are brief and describe the character in a few sentences.
Don't fret if a similar concept has already been submitted, as it happens more often than one may think. To assist me in my careers as an actor, writer and artist, I possess a large database of characters, traits, professions, personalities and quirks. This database can be cross referenced to create an endless combination of character concepts. I mention this, because I do not want to receive a concept submission from anyone, who later may claim that I took their idea, because something similar was created. Artists, writers, etc, always end up creating something that someone claims to have already thought of (it is inevitable). As a writer, I learned this lesson many times over...
A lot more goes into creating a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture, than just the concept. I carefully match up each submission to the client and determine the amount of chemistry the project has when both are combined. It is the combination of concept, client, imagination and inspiration that results in a BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture. Example: An "old man" concept results in a generic old man sculpture. But look at the gallery page and you will see different variations of the "old man" concept. This is due to the unique character submission and the chemistry I have with each client. It all comes down to inspiration.
Another factor is that my artistic style is to find perfection in "imperfections". Closer inspection of a BIGHEAD will reveal some rough edges, sculpting marks and uneven proportions. AND ALL OF THESE ARE INTENTIONAL. There are no perfect faces in real life, and attempting to create perfect proportions and even features, always results in the sculpture appearing 'doll like".
Just like real people, my sculptures have their imperfections…. It is what makes them so unique.
You state that you will only be making a few more BIGHEADS. What do you mean?
It is important to understand exactly what I set out to do, which was to leave behind a legacy of sorts. I wanted to create a form of art that will live on long after I am gone and possess the ability to make people smile and laugh far into the future. I know of no other art form that can achieve this task with such efficiency... When I first conceiving of BIGHEADS, my ambition was to form an exclusive community by creating only 50 of these BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures, then move on to the next endeavor (life is too short and there are too many adventures left to experience). I could easily mass-produce a multitude of characters by popping reproductions of various characters from molds, but that would take them away from sculpted mechanical art, and place them more into the commercial 'figure' realm. While the characters depicted are often lighthearted in nature (resembling ventriloquist figures) it is very important to remember that each one is actually an individual sculpture and should be regarded as such... Suffice to say that this has been an artistic quest and a fter this ambition has been achieved, I will be moving on to other adventures. In 2017, I will be creating the last 'public' BIGHEAD #49 (#50 is destined for my personal collection)... As of 10/26/17, I have not yet decided on a commision concept for #49..
An argument can be made that reproductions of artwork are created, and even marketed, all the time. While this is true, it is often accomplished either by the artist, or with permission from the artists' estate. Individuals who pursue such endeavors without permission have no respect for the true value of art. Limited licensing rights can always be arranged and such cases will be noted on the gallery page.
In closing, BIGHEAD mechanical sculptures are, and should always be "one-of-a-kind" works of functional art. They should be treated and respected as such. Their unique status makes them extremely rare and is a major factor in their value. The BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture owners are a very small, and selected group of professional performers, high end art collectors and respected business owners. To reproduce or duplicate even one BIGHEAD mechanical sculpture, would be to decrease the value in all the others.
I don't think the other owners would like that too much.