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Alex Johannsen

I have always been drawn to figurative sculpture, be that animal or the human form, the characters are all renditions of personal experience. The cats and dogs are from pets past and present, whereas the birds are either from chickens, which I was surrounded by as a child, or other more surreal styles inspired by David Attenborough's 'Life Of Birds'. Inspiration can come from any source, cartoons, myths and legends, plays on words, dreams, anywhere, anything, and that is the joy, having total freedom to create.

The human figures are more caricatures of myself, not so much physically as mentally, Humour I think is a huge asset to mankind, and I try and portray this in my work. Saying that, I also have taken on more personally challenging pieces, for example a religious commission for the Catholic Church, the 'Mysteries of the Rosary', which you can see a couple of the finished plaques on the site. These require a totally different mental approach, challenging in a different way, but ultimately as rewarding.

For different pieces I use different materials for different effect, for the animals I normally use the 'Raku" process, due to the finish it offers as well as the immediacy of the results. As for the figures, depending on their content, they may either be Raku or Earthenware fired As the religious pieces where going to be sited outside they needed to be high fired to withstand frost, and oxides used instead of glazes to retain the fine details in the sculpting.

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