- A potential client calls or emails to express interest in a commission.
- A 750 -2500 drawing fee is requested to initiate the exploration. (scope dependent)
- Client isolates which piece or pieces in the existing portfolio of prior work, which ‘speaks to them’.
This provides a tangible point of reference to begin the discussion, and helps to provide a very early sense of ‘taste’, or aesthetic orientation.
- Client provides site photos and drawings including basic dimensions.
- Phone discussion follows to explore the many variables and possibilities provided by the site,
including client sensitivities regarding form, material, placement, spatial concerns, and cost.
- I will ask:
Where is the site?
What are some of the special considerations, concerns, or hopes for the project?
What is the general expected budget or allowance?
Who else will be involved: architects, interior designers, landscape architects, designers?
Who will be my most active contact?
Who will be making the decisions?
What do you like in my prior work specifically?
What size sculpture can you imagine at this point?
Expected materials? Bronze, stainless steel, oxidized steel, stone, glass, wood? Etc.
Desired finishes or colorations? Warm, cool, gold leaf, patinas?
Are there any functional concerns or criteria?
Pedestrian or child safety issues?
Interior or exterior?
Free standing, wall mounted, or suspended?
Is night lighting a concern or possibility?
Desired form references?
- Once I have sufficiently absorbed all the various criteria, I then begin to develop a broad range of loose concepts, with a variety of potential forms or designs to consider. During the next meeting, this range of design directions will be considered and compared, and in most cases, one concept comes forward, or achieves a kind of consensus among the players, as the most appropriate and exciting for the site.
- Once the essential direction is established, I then develop the final design, including all final dimensions, material specifications, and cost. Once accepted, a contract is written up and signed, requiring a 50% deposit to begin fabrication, followed typically by one 25% progress payment, with the final 25% due upon completion. Transportation and installation is handled under a separate agreement, and often includes a coordinated effort with the client’s local tradesmen.
Options can include:
#1 Next in Series: a new piece that explores a theme that exists in the portfolio, but in a new size and with different materials or finishes. This works particularly well with the wall pieces. No work is ever duplicated, (unless originally and intentionally created as a limited edition), and every piece is recognizably unique.
#2 New Concept: Usually the first sculpture of what will likely evolve into a new series, based on current theoretical concept sketches and models, witch have not yet been tested in full scale, or in final material form.
#3 Site Specific: These are usually complex projects, with a high degree of site-specific concerns, challenges and opportunities. Typically the scope of these projects expands in all directions, and requires a formal design phase, followed by engineering, contract negotiations, and finally the contracted fabrication and installation phase. In a residential environment, the same steps may be required, but usually with a much more simplified level of scope and complexity.
In general, the process proceeds very smoothly, with material samples, drawings, or models made as needed to fully express the proposed idea. In most cases, full scale 'approximations' can be made using a photomontage technique, combining drawings with photographs, to create images that help to visualize the final outcome. When needed, full scale elements can be 'tested' on site, using some form of temporary material to help determine final dimensions or affected site lines.
I communicate during the commission phase most actively by email, with very particular updates provided as requested, with a fabrication schedule that can be highly relied upon. I have had extensive experience with highly sensitive environments, including both historically sensitive architecture, and religiously sensitive sacred spaces.
In all cases, I treat the context in which the new work will exist with extreme respect, and a carefully considered holistic and integrated vision.