Frank Morbillo Sanding a Sculpture- Matthews Gallery Blog

Frank Morbillo sanding his sculpture Sprung

As we learned in his NEW HORIZONS show, sculptor Frank Morbillo is inspired by the way the elements carve the canyon lands of the American West. It’s fitting that his process is just as elemental. He bends and twists flat pieces of steel and bronze and then welds them into seamless three-dimensional forms, first creating smaller studies and working up to towering sculptures that possess the same gravitas as the rock formations he loves.

Witness the fiery birth of Frank’s sculpture Sprung and read quotes from the artist about his process and influences in this photo montage:

Process Photo of Sculptor Frank Morbillo's Sprung- Matthews Gallery blog

Fitting fabrication

“When you’re working with steel, you can work pretty inexpensively to generate an idea and get proportions down, and then make it a little bit bigger. Eventually this can go to the scale of the piece outside the Matthews Gallery.”

Frank Morbillo TIG Welding a Sculpture- Matthews Gallery Blog

TIG welding

“My background was in ceramics when I first started. For two years of college I thought my major was going to be ceramics, but in my sophomore year I took a blacksmithing class on forging and fabricating metal. I was like, ‘You can heat the stuff up and move it like clay? Oh my God!’”

Frank Morbillo Welding a Sculpture- Matthews Gallery blog

Welding

“You knock a piece of clay off the table and it breaks on the floor. You knock a piece of metal off and it dents the floor.”

fine sanding on Sprung-1

Fine sanding

“A lot of the pieces come from hiking canyons and experiencing the paths that you take in a canyon. If you look at a topo of a canyon, you can see its meandering course. When you’re down in a canyon and you see how it’s been eroded and shaped by water and wind, it takes on another shape.”

Frank Morbillo Adding a Patina to a Sculpture- Matthews Gallery blog

 Patina

“When I was in the foundry business doing patina work for different artists, we always used to talk about the translucency of bronze. They always wanted that, to where if you put this really nice golden brown patina over metal, you could see the metal coming through.”

Tesuque Artist Frank Morbillo with his Sculpture Sprung- Matthews Gallery blog

Almost there…

“One of the nice things about being out in nature is that all of the things we connect ourselves with are gone. Where does that take you? I think we need to do that still in our lives.”

See Frank’s finished sculpture here and learn more about the Tesuque sculptor on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

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