Monday, December 3, 2012

Close, but no cigar

Here is a part of a project that I started awhile back.  It is different from the mosaics that I have done in the past.  This one is made up of over 50 black, white and gray canes.  After making the canes I reduced each one to 1/2 inch square and sliced them up.  The final piece is 36 inches by 24 inches.  To bake this I needed to build the piece in sections because it all wouldn't fit into my oven.  I also wanted to give it some texture rather than have flat pieces.  To do this I built a bottom layer of scrap clay. I formed each to have even raised bumps.  I baked these and then applied the slices one by one to this base in order to create my picture.

What you can't figure out what it is.  Maybe this will help.

How about now?  Is it getting any clearer?  Let's step back some more.
Still can't figure it out?  Maybe we are too close.
If your computer allows it perhaps you would like to see this little movie.  It was my first youtube upload so I hope it works.
Are you any closer?
Hopefully you can tell that it is a man.  But do you know who?
My husband thought it was Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad.  I told him he was close, but no cigar.  But it wasn't a "Bad" guess.  Here is Bryan Cranston.
OK Here is the complete picture.  Do you know who it is?
 I am sure that many of you have guessed that it is the artist Chuck Close.  I think he is a wonderful artist and obviously has influenced my art.  My brother had the wonderful opportunity to work with Chuck Close when he was an art student.  I even got to meet him on one occasion.  He was doing his large photo realistic paintings at the time.  His illness has forced him to change his style but he is still leaving a impact on us all.  My brother who is a digital artist now created a 3d model of Chuck.  The image of this model was published on the cover of "the Village Voice" magazine in New York City.  I created my polymer clay mosaic using this photo.  Here is my brother, Glenn Dean's, photo from the magazine.

Yes, you can say talent runs in our family.  If Chuck ever sees either of these images I hope he will be pleased.  We thank him for what he has given us.


  1. absolutely freaking amazing Julie. dang FB wouldn't let me comment on your post

  2. This is so fantastic Julie. What an incredible amount of work you've put into this project. You know this is exactly what I've been wanting to do for such a long time just have never got the time to sit down and plan it properly. Well done - absolutely amazing work.

  3. Absolutely AMAZING! Can't wait to share this with my students! You should find a way to send a picture of your work to Chuck himself!


  4. Wow, Julie. Just absolutely incredible. I am going to do some research on this guy now that you have introduced him to me. Will say...I thought you were heading towards the Abominable Snowman at first! Squint your eyes, you'll see what I mean! Thanks for sharing, Em

  5. omg did you reduce too??? that would be a bit much. this is awesome and thanks for posting