CREATIVE APPROACH 2017-07-29T18:51:06+00:00

Project Description


I wasn’t trying to generate mystery or intrigue. I think people will just appreciate them for their beauty and their uniqueness and they’ll come to some sort of conclusion in their own mind as to what they are. I mean I get that experience when people come into my studio. Most everybody loves them and like I have said before, some people immediately understand that they are a collection of old cultures combined into one. I think I feel some connection to these indigenous cultures because I appreciate, you know, the level of art that they created and the admiration I have for what they did. No schooling, no tools to speak of, all the other things they had to do to survive and they produce this amazing artwork.

Close-up seated masked figure by Thomas Long
Medium close-up of masked figure by Thomas Long
Three of Thomas Long's earliest sculptures
Kochina - by Thomas Long

These pieces that I’ve made I look at as a product of my experiences. It was: “Let’s make one, explore the experience of carving in wood, making a figure”. The first one resembles a little bit of a kachina doll which reflects my travels to Arizona and New Mexico. The next two had less similarities. You could still see that influence of those travels to Arizona and New Mexico. And it really wasn’t until the fourth one that I really broke out away from that. I just had this inspiration to evolve to something new. The next piece had a mask in front of it’s face. That really intrigued me. I’ve seen a series of masks at a museum of all the North American Indians that carved a lot of masks. I’ve always been intrigued by masks. I like using multiple materials. I did a little ceramics and jewelry at the University of Oregon so I like using those experiences in embellishing the piece. I might cast something, I might decide on a particular use of gold leaf or silver leaf or dyes.