Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sculpting with Simon Kogan

Creating art is difficult. An incredible amount of understanding is needed: 
from knowledge of the history, tools and techniques of art to a knowledge
of  how we, as artists, fit into the grander scheme. It is in a state of honed 
but empty readiness that the mystery of creativity may find expression through 
us. If it does, it will be powerful, it will touch, and it will have life.  
It will then be worthy of the term "art".” 

So states Simon Kogan, acclaimed sculptor. Born in Russia, Simon studied under the renowned sculptor Isaac Brodsky. Since immigrating to the United States in 1991, Simon has been generous with sharing his artistic passion with others.

Not only does Simon teach classes on sculpting, he also shares free information on his website with those who may not be able to attend his classes (or those who just want to learn more about his work).

Using an old Italian institution of the bottega—the method whereby artists provided for the thorough education of the novice in his future craft—Simon also shares his work through freedownloads on his website. These documents describing his work are made as straight forward, as clear, and as simple as Simon can for others eager to learn. 

For example, in his “Secrets of the Trade” download, Simon has the following to say about sculpting tools:

The choice of modeling tool depends on the materials to be used for sculpting
Clay loves wood
Wax prefers metal
Oil-clay loves both.
Clay with grog or fiber doesn‘t like
the tool with teeth
doesn’t like its surface to be touched twice,
oil clay and wax do.
Hard wax loves sharp teeth.
Wood for the modeling tools
should be hard and
steel should be hardened.

Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio(WIFAS) has the privilege of hosting a workshop on sculpting by Simon in November 2012. Anyone interested in sculpting—with or without experience—is welcome in the class. If you just want to improve your figure drawing, Simon's sculpture workshop is a definite way to do that. Feeling the three-dimensional form helps all drawing and painting!