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Richard Downs
The Family
posted:
Richard Downs | The Family | Plasma Cut & Welded Steel | 108" x 58” x 48” | July 2015

I have finished my first large scale outdoor steel sculpture commission called, "The Family". It was a project that went pretty smooth and when the numbers came in I had invested almost 500 hours of design and fabrication and 3 other welders and fabricators had invested an additional 100 hours of time.

 

I used new technology including CAD plasma cutting while working with a team of fabricators that taught me as much about the current trends in fabrication and installation as I tried to teach them in client relations in the commissioned art world from design to finish. 

 

Now that the piece is finished and installed it feels satisfying to look back over 4 months of development from a sketch on paper to seeing realized steel and concrete and happy clients.

 

This piece pushed the limitations of a neighborhood and a household studio to find new working digs in an industrial park. I am looking forward to taking this type of work away from my living space and the neighbors are thrilled.

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In the future I will not shoot a video at sunrise after I had worked all night. 
My Original Maquette for "The Family"
After the Maquette was approved I enlarged my design in a full scale cardboard model to try and understand how it could be fabricated.
Once I understood every shape I built the piece out of plywood that I later used as cutting templates for the plasma cutting.
Richard Downs | The Family | Plasma Cut & Welded Steel | 108" x 58” x 48” | July 2015. If you live in Redwood City, California you can see this piece on the 2016 Native Garden Home Tour. The work stands next to the bee hives and in front of a wood rat family (that mound of twigs) Only one crew member got stung during installation.
"The Father" detail. This picture shows the joyful interior faces that each portrait portrays.
The families two twin children are the large forms. I designed the children to be bigger than life and looking out upon the world and the parents were designed to feel meditative and looking inward. The child's head at the top of that semaphore shape rotates and it can be moved to look in different directions.
All images | Richard Downs © 2015 
Steel Heads at TEW
posted:
Joyful Face | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 16" x 19" x 8" | Gun Blueing Patina | 2015

I am really happy to be showing for the first time my new steel heads in a group show at TEW Galleries in Atlanta this month. These new pieces are an extension from my wire figurative work and what I have learned during the process of finishing my first large scale outdoor sculpture called, “The Family”

 

 

TEW Galleries | Pictorial Adventures | July 24 - August 21

A group show featuring works by: Anthony Ardavin, David Eddy, Stewart Helm,
Susan Homer, Charles Keiger, Charles Ladson and Mario Soria.
Sculpture by Clem Bedwell and Richard Downs.

 

Joyful Face | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 16" x 19" x 8" | Gun Blueing Patina | 2015 | Side View
Woman #309 | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 20" x 12" x 11" | Gun Blueing Patina | 2015
Woman #309 | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 20" x 12" x 11" | 2015 | Gun Blueing Patina | View from Back
Man #310 | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 21" x 12" x 13" | Gun Blueing Patina | 2015
Man #310 | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 21" x 12" x 13" | Gun Blueing Patina | 2015 | View from Back
It isn't so easy signing steel so I bought a vintage steel stamp set off ebay to sign the work.
I am especially pleased to be showing with the artist, Charles Ladson, I am a big fan of his work. charlesladson.com | Image © Charles Ladson
 
All images | Richard Downs © 2015 
Southern California Trees
posted:
Palm Tree #1 | Monotype on Japanese Paper | 12" x 15" Image Area | 2015

This Joshua Tree and the Palm Tree are a private commission for a Southern California couple. After living in the Northern California mountains for the last 19 years I really miss the austere beauty of both of these trees. Something about both the Joshua and the Palm remind me of vacation.

 

I also made a matching Cognate or Ghost Print of the spent plates but I didn’t have any BFK white so I had to use a BFK Tan and a Cream. The jury is still out on whether I like these colors over my first choice BFK White. 

Joshua Tree #2 | Monotype on Japanese Paper | 12" x 15" Image Area | 2015
Joshua Tree #3 | Cognate Print on BFK Tan | 12" x 15" Image Area | 2015
Palm Tree #2 | Cognate Print on BFK Cream | 12" x 15" Image Area | 2015
I just love this old postcard of Orange Trees and Palms and how contemporary it looks today. That is Mount Baldy covered in snow in the background, you don't see that anymore!
Richard Downs | The Family | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 108" x 46" x 36" | Completion July 2015

I am almost finished with my first large outdoor steel sculpture commission. The project has been transformational for me as an artist and also for the young and talented welders working on it. I can honestly say that I am a completely different artist than I was at the beginning of the year. Hard to explain but the piece has helped set me free from persuing any commercial illustration work and it will allow me with its completion to compete effectively for Public Sculptural Art Commissions. It is like all newbie hard starts in the design, literary or the entertainment world, the biggest hurdle is getting your first really good gig which then makes others come easier. Here is a sneak peek of the Mother and Fathers torsos.  

Here is a shot of my studio in complete chaos this afternoon. There are 2 giant figurative superstructures standing behind me in this picture. Richard Downs | The Family | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 108" x 46" x 36" | Completion July 2015
“The Family” is finished and on its way to the sandblaster. Sandblasting removes the mill scale which is a diamond hard covering to keep the steel from rusting and it is the reason why the piece looks black. After it is blasted the surface is highly reactive and the patina can be applied. Cardboard arm is for placement. The Family | Plasma Cut and Welded Steel | 108" x 46" x 36" | Completion July 2015
Tree Hero Awards
posted:
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.
 
I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.iiiii
Joshua Tree Couple #307 | Monotype | 19x23.5” image area 23x28” sheet size | 2015

I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 

 

The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.

 

In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.

 

The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. They are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.

 

Get out there and support your communities urban forests.I made this piece to help support the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Sacramento’s preeminent environmental event the Tree Hero Awards. The piece will be auctioned Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at the California Farm Bureau and a portion of the sale will be donated to the Tree Foundation. 
 
The mission of the Sacramento Tree Foundation is to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation.
 
In recognition of Sacramento's 150 year commitment to trees, the Sacramento Tree Foundation recognizes Tree Heroes: people and landscapes that best exemplify outstanding accomplishments in tree planting, care and stewardship, as well as the overall importance of trees.
 
The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to build healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest in the nation. We are leading the effort to plant 5 million trees in the Sacramento region.
 
Get out there and support your communities urban forests.vv
All images | Richard Downs © 2015 
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