Sculptor’s Group 2016-2017

AAG Sculptors’ Group 2016-2017

The Sculptors’ Group consists of professional and amateur sculptors working in a variety of media. The Group serves as a forum for sculptors to exchange ideas and technical information about 3-dimensional art. All AAG members are welcome to participate if you are interested in sculpture; whether it is your primary art interest or not.

The Sculptors’ Group has been meeting for 22 years and is a vital adjunct of AAG. We meet on the first Monday of the month from September through November and January through May. We hold many of our meetings in the AAG Building but from time to time, we enjoy visiting artist’s studios in and around the valley. Please check the agenda below often for a schedule of dates, times and locations of meetings, since they will be changing as our agenda evolves.

 For more details about the AAG Sculptors’ Group, contact Douglas Hebert at

The Sculptors’ Group 2016-2017 Schedule

Sagger and Horsehair Raku Firing with David L Bradley and Doug Hebert
Monday, May 1, 2017 | 7:00-9:00 Pm
Paradise Valley Community College | D Building | 18407 N. 32nd St. | Phoenix AZ 85023

David Bradley | Doug Hebert
You must arrive by 7 to glaze your piece so there will be time for it to dry and be fired before 9pm.

AAG members are welcome to participate in a raku firing event. Choose a one of a kind ceramic bisque piece.

About Sagger and Horsehair Firing.
There is no glaze used in either of these firing techniques.  Once the bisque fired ceramics is ready to be raku’d, it is either placed in a container filled with minerals, wood shavings etc. Sometimes the piece is wrapped in seaweed or other materials to get color. Salt is added to the Sagger along with other materials in the attempt to get an interesting surface.

HORSE HAIR FIRING is a unique technique combining an ancient Japanese firing method –the horsehair is applied to the extremely hot pot. Instantly the hair starts to vaporize on the surface of the pot, squiggling and dancing around the surface of the piece, painting it’s image on the pot, leaving behind carbon black lines.


Garth Johnson- ASU ceramic research center director and ASU art museum curator

TIME: 7pm to 9pm
699 S. Mill Ave., Suite 108
Tempe, Arizona 85281

Garth Johnson is a writer, educator and artist who comes to the ASU Ceramic Research Center from The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and before that from College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif. Johnson received his BFA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, his MFA from Alfred University in 2000 and has taught at Georgia State University, Columbus State University and Golden West College in addition to College of the Redwoods. He initially came to prominence through his website,, which started in 2005. His first book, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, was published by Quarry in 2009. He has given numerous lectures and workshops around the globe, including at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Billings, Mont., University of California­–Berkeley, the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Stedefreund in Berlin. His TEDx lecture, “Recycling Sucks: The History of Creative Reuse,” can be viewed on YouTube or the TED website. Johnson has also contributed to such books as Handmade Nation, Humor in Craft, Craftivity and Arizona State University’s Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking American Craft. Garth has curated multiple exhibitions, including “Era Messages” at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Ore., and “Renewal Notice” at the American Conservation Film Festival. Garth was also a curatorial finalist for the 2014 Ceramics Biennale at the Yingge Ceramics Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. His artwork has been shown nationally and internationally, including a solo exhibition at The Clay Studio in 2009 and the group exhibition “Horizon – Landscapes, Ceramics and Print” at the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design in Oslo, Norway. His work can be found at

John Tuomisto-Bell-bronze casting demoJOHN TUOMISTO-BELL
DATE: 10/6/16 (this is a Thursday)
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION: 4013 E Cambridge Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85008
Throughout the history of mankind, the human condition has been portrayed.
John Tuomisto-Bell speaks to man coming to terms with his violent nature and searching for a new balance. In a subtle manner he derives man in four different positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and standing. A consummate craftsman, there is in his small studio the faculty to execute all aspects of the complex process of casting bronze. By controlling every element of the fabrication of his creations himself he commands a level of intimacy that more profoundly coveys his questioning around man’s arrogant shortcomings, dark undercurrents and spiritual impotence. The results are powerful and come from a deep expression within this artist.

A student of the human condition, Tuomisto-Bell is involved in an ongoing investigation of the emotional differences we have as individuals and as a collective society. The artist engages viewers in a visual discussion, hoping to gain insight or a glimpse of truth by way of an unexplored revelation or an emotive discovery.

John Tuomisto-Bell received his BFA from Arizona State University, and regularly exhibits his cast bronze sculpture in the southwest. Tuomisto-Bell has extensive experience casting his own work at Arizona Bronze Foundry. The artist now casts works in a foundry built in his home studio.

Mark Carroll-discussion of stone carvingMARK CARROLL
DATE: 11/7/16
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION: AAG Building – Mark Carroll has been a professional sculptor and in business as The Sculpture Studio LLC since 1985. Mark earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Art and a Master’s Degree in Art Education from SUC Buffalo, Buffalo NY. After teaching high school art for ten years, he left to make a career as a sculptor and established a studio in East Aurora, NY. He relocated his studio to Cave Creek, AZ in 2009.
Mark started his career as a woodcarver crafting small caricature figures and wildlife. He then progressed to sculpting life-size figures in wood for churches and hospitals. He also carved scientifically accurate reproductions, such as an Archaeopteryx, by working from fossil remains, for the Buffalo Museum of Science in Buffalo NY.
For the past 18 years, Mark has also been working as a free-lance model maker for the toy industry, especially for Fisher Price. He did the exacting work of sculpting the model-masters in clay or wax that were used to make the final plastic injection castings.
After taking a marble carving class in Vermont, stone carving became a new fascination. From marble, he went on to learn how to carve granite. Mark has created small table-top size sculptures to large stone sculptures for public places.
For the past twelve years, Mark has been attending the Limestone Sculpture Symposium in Bloomington IN. Participants are given a 1,200 pound block of limestone to carve during the week-long symposium.
A desire to combine different materials prompted an interest in welding. Combinations of limestone and steel, or granite and stainless steel, were soon added to his portfolio of work.
After moving his studio to Arizona in 2009, Mark has concentrated of developing his own art work, focusing primarily on stone carving. His wide range of sculpting experiences has provided the craftsmanship, knowledge of techniques, and understanding of form that is essential when it comes to creating a unique abstract sculpture. Mark works on designing and creating his own sculptures, and welcomes commissions.

Sandra Luehrsen-presentation on her work and processSANDRA LUEHRSEN
DATE: 12/5/16
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION:  Mesa Community College, Southern and Dobson Campus
1833 W. Southern Ave, Mesa
Art and Communication Bldg, Room AC2S

Sandra Luehrsen was born in Chicago, Illinois. She earned BA and MA degrees at Northern Illinois University and an MFA at Arizona State University (ASU). In 1999, Luehrsen left a position as assistant dean of the ASU Graduate to start her own art business. She also teaches 3D design at Mesa Community College and presents clay workshops. Luehrsen exhibits her ceramic sculpture and digital artwork locally, nationally, and internationally.

The Auckland Institute and Museum in New Zealand, the Arizona State University Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center, the former West Valley Art Museum, the Cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Peoria, and Chandler, the Kamm Teapot Foundation, and many notable private and corporate collections hold her work. 500 Prints on Clay, 500 Teapots 2, Smashing Glazes, and The Ceramic Surface Design Book are just a few of several books that include Luehrsen’s earthenware sculpture. HGTV’s Crafters Coast to Coast and KGUN9’s The Morning Blend featured Luehrsen’s art.

For recreation, Luehrsen swims, walks, and researches family history. She and her brother, Dr. Kenneth Luehrsen, are avid fans of The Rockford Files.

Michael Butzine – Blown Glass presentation and demo
DATE: January 11, 2017
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION:Paradise Valley Community College, 18401 N 32nd St. Phoenix, 85032 in D building

Michael Butzine will give a presentation about his glass art and give a demonstration of his unique style of glass blown sculpture.

Born and raised in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, Michael Butzine has traveled the globe, witnessing and experiencing many different cultures and lands. He received his BFA in Glass at the University of Hawaii where he also studied Eastern Philosophy and nautical themes. Upon graduation, the energy of the arts led Mikey wandering across the States, working with various glass studios/museums, exhibiting his work in Japan, and backpacking throughout Europe. This nomadic lifestyle has influenced him to make the full circle back to his native lands of Downtown Phoenix. Today, you will find Michael working at Circle 6 Studios where he hones his craft and brings life to new creations; and at Mesa Arts Center, where he teaches private/group glassblowing lessons.

ROGER LABRASHRoger LaBrash- Blacksmith
DATE: 2/6/2017
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION: 1329 W Lincoln St., Phoenix. AZ, 85007 – in downtown Phoenix
Grizzly Iron, Inc. began as Grizzly Welding and Custom Fabrication in October of 1987. Rodger “Grizz” LaBrash started the company after he had built fencing for the home of the contractor he was working for at the time as a superintendent. Russ Horton, the contractor, bought Rodger his first welder to complete the job. He continued working for Horton Construction for some time while performing welding for side work.

In October 1987 Rodger officially started Grizzly Welding and Custom Fabrication. Grizzly performed many different small fabrication tasks from gates, fences, railings anything that involved steel and welding. Grizzly Welding worked in the off road industry in the early nineties on jeeps and race cars and trucks. The business continued to grow and expand into larger shops.

In 1996, Rodger was asked to build a driveway gate that complimented a pedestrian gate from France. This gate, which took a month to complete, had Rodger employing blacksmith techniques such as stake repoussé. This gate was what lead Rodger to move the business into forged and higher quality ironwork. Today, almost every product that leaves the shop of Grizzly Iron, Inc. has some forged ironwork even if it’s just a handle, clavo, or cane bolt.

In 2002, Rodger lost his wife Jami to breast cancer after a five year battle. Rodger supports the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in his spare time. Jami helped Rodger start the business and performed many of the office tasks while she was working a full time job and into her retirement after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Rodger always dreamed of one day having Jami working full time for Grizzly.

Today Grizzly Iron, Inc. is still a family run business with Rodger and son Jason working to design, fabricate, and install our client’s request for high quality ironwork. Rodger performs many of the blacksmithing and design tasks while Jason works with clients from design to installation. Jason grew up in the business working in the shop during summers and afternoons learning from the bottom up.

Grizzly Iron, Inc. continues to improve and grow into one of Arizona’s largest blacksmith shops. As the clients or projects have become larger, quality has never been sacrificed.

Carole Perry- presentation about her fused glass work.CAROLE PERRY
DATE: 3/6/17
TIME: 5:30-7:30pm
LOCATION: Laughing Glass Studio
4944 E Sawmill Cir. Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Native of southern Oregon, Carole Perry works out of her desert studio in Cave Creek, Arizona. A number of years ago, Perry set aside a successful career in computers to pursue her passion for glass full time. “I ran after the executive brass ring for 20 years before admitting it could never hold the same sparkle as the art glass I’d been collecting for almost as many years. My idols were Chihuly, Marquis and Brock rather than lacocco or Watson.

“While I enjoyed every day of my 20+ years with IBM and Xerox, nothing could prepare me for the sheer joy of creating a piece of glass sculpture. Finding my own way, without any set procedures, has felt like the equivalent of discovering the New World. Learning to live off my own feedback, with no measuring stick beyond my own personal standards, has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I would conform to any lifestyle necessary to continue this passion.”

Kevin Caron-presentation on 3d printing with demoKEVIN CARON
DATE: 4/3/17
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
LOCATION: 5831 N. 46th Pl.
Phoenix AZ 85018-1236

My first love was for machinery. Its immaculate steel composition and constructed perfection afforded orchestrated movement, followed by the joy of private solitude. Those passions came together while riding my motorcycle, when I first began to feel and see Time, rather than identify with its metaphoric measurements.

As I rode bigger, faster, more capable motorcycles, I noticed that just over 20 mph, everything ceased to exist, and I found myself with an ability to slow down my perception of time. I learned to melt into an altered reality, which was defined by a simple formula: higher speed, less thought. Suddenly, time became fluid and I had enough of it to choose where to turn next while mitigating treacherous desert curves and sudden hills. My mind became void of the incessant chatter of thoughts and strategies. Instead, it was replaced with pure force of instinct and intense clarity about what lay ahead. I felt as if I were flying slightly above ground, hugging the textured topography with my body, steering the roaring engine beneath me as an extension of myself.

Although I did not know it then, my education as an artist seems synonymously tied to the roads I have consumed on a motorcycle and later behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound semi truck. I spent more than 30 years meditating and molding shapes in my mind, so when an opportunity to sculpt my first piece presented itself, the transition from mental manipulation to the creation of real steel structures was seamless and effortless.

Now I focus on the sensuality of shapes, the gentle rise and fall of their sides and junctures. I enjoy the challenges of creating monumental public works, which allow me to work in a scale and variety of proportion that smaller pieces sometimes resist. I download shapes and spaces from my mind that were already analyzed, conceived and cataloged many years ago before I even knew I wanted to be a sculptor and let my hands become an extension of my mind, very much like I do when I am riding.

With each passing year, time emerges as a single argument, and as I continue to ride, it affects how I observe the line ahead of me, the movement of air, the machinery that carries me off into the distance, and the shape of the landscape around me. Now space appears as a consequence, not a cause. Lines outline the curves of each road I travel. Volume and mass fill the emptiness.

In my work I seek out illusion in contour and its capacity, treating unusual intersections as purposeful composition. And although I am still unsure if knowledge is imparted by a creative force rather than acquired and accumulated through hard work, I believe that even the most commonplace experiences accumulate into unanticipated works of art.


Sculptors’ Group Chair

Douglas Hebert
pictured below: GIRAFFE
2′ x 9″ s 2′

Douglas Hebert GIRAFFE 2'X9"X2' $1500



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