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Tony Furtado

Tony Furtado, Bill the Otter (front)

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The number one inspiration for my art is the natural world and finding expressive and engaging ways to portray what I see and feel. Whether it is an accurate biological rendering or a stylized and surreal statement, my process almost always begins with me imagining a creature, person, or structure (sometimes all at once) somehow differently. I try to capture the duality of what is fierce and fragile in the form as I find myself driven by the tension between survival and surrender, something we all endure as part of this wildly changing planet.

Most everything I make starts with a lump of clay, or a soon to be slip-coated and fired bamboo skewer lattice-work form. Some of my work is glazed but most of my pieces are surfaced with a tough, non-fired coating called Forton (a resin based casting material) that I mix with metal powders (copper, iron, and aluminum usually) which is cured and oxidized, giving it a look of bronze or distressed iron. I also frequently find myself utilizing other materials to complete a vision. For example, perhaps lacquer coated paper stretched over a metal coated wooden frame is just what I need to soften the unforgiving weight of the fired clay.

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