Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friends of Philadelphia Sculpture Gym: The Resource Exchange

We met the fabulous folks from The Resource Exchange over some beers at Kraftwork a few weeks ago and wanted to let everyone know about them!

From their Facebook page:

The Resource Exchange is a nonprofit reuse center dedicated to promoting creative reuse, recycling, and resource conservation by diverting valuable materials from the waste stream and redirecting them to artists, builders, educators and the general public.

In our first year, using temporary storage space and the generous help of an all-volunteer staff, The Resource Exchange saved over 40 tons of scenery, props, art supplies, tools, and building materials for reuse in the community, and successfully facilitated the recycling of over 600 tons of additional material previously destined for our region’s landfills.

Our donors and customers often overlap, because we accept and resell a wide range of affordable materials reusable for building, creating, and learning. We hope to incentivize creative reuse throughout the community by selling all of our material at reduced cost, typically half the cost of new products.

• artists and craftspeople use our donated and salvaged material to create art, furniture, home decor, and other unique creative reuse items.

• film and theater companies utilize salvaged scenery and set decoration in new productions, and are offered more responsible set building and waste management options.

• builders, contractors, and architects who utilize green design and building strategies buy our low cost, reclaimed building materials.

• homeowners and renters alike look to us for innovative ways to incorporate salvaged materials into home projects.

• reusable resources and manufacturer surplus can easily be incorporated into art and environmental education programs in public schools and other nonprofit organizations, where funding for materials is often limited.

• environmentally conscious customers benefit from the opportunity to make purchasing decisions with not just cost, but conservation in mind.

Check them out on their Facebook page!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July Workshop: Make your own Sculpture Tools

Always wanted to make your own sculpture tools? Do you find that store bought varieties don't quite do the trick? Well fret not, dear readers, because Philadelphia Sculpture Gym has you covered! We are offering a workshop on how to make your own sculpture tools this July! Come learn how to cut out the basic shape of the tool using a bandsaw and shape it on a sander. We'll cover a shape similar to whats pictured but feel free to ask questions and experiment with different varieties.

We are asking for $10 per person, which will go toward matching the Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. (If you are feeling saucy and want to give more we won't stop you!) Wood and sandpaper are included, but if you have some wood scraps you'd really like to use, feel free to bring them. We will also have butcher's wax on hand (for finishing the tools) as well as some safety glasses for use while at the machines.

The details are:

When: Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 2pm

Where: 3237 N. Amber Street, 3rd Floor North, Philadelphia, PA 19134 (Easily accessible by car, bike or public transportation)

Why: Because those store bought modeling tools just aren't cutting it.

How to sign up: Email us at philadelphiasculpturegym[at] and let us know you'll be there. Please RSVP so we can make sure we have enough materials for everyone.

Hope to see you there!

And the winner is....

Josh Heake! Congrats Josh, you will have a 1 week membership to the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym waiting for you when we open!

Thanks to everyone who posted on our Facebook page...and stay tuned for more giveaways!

winner was chosen using

Monday, June 27, 2011

Philadelphia Sculpture Gym wants YOU!

We are looking to highlight artists, sculptors, woodworkers, metal workers, mold makers, etc here on the blog once a week, so if you are interested in being featured send us an email to philadelphiasculpturegym[at] with "Featured Artist" in the subject line. Please include a brief bio and some info about your work, along with a few images and a link to your website.

image from here

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Weekend: Facts & Fables at the Schuylkill Center

Looking to get out of the city without actually leaving the city? Head on over to the Schuylkill Center this Saturday to check out Facts and Fables, a group exhibition of large scale outdoor installations. Here's some info from the Schuylkill Center:

Opening Reception : Saturday, June 25th, 4 pm - 7 pm

Free to the public

On View Through October 29, 2011

A Group Exhibition of Large-Scale, Outdoor Installations

Featuring work by

Jeremy Beaudry, Brian Collier, Chad Curtis, Blane De St. Croix,

David Dempewolf, Susan Hagen, Jeanne Jaffe


"Little Red Riding Hood as a Crime Scene" by Jeanne Jaffe

At the opening reception, enjoy an exclusive tour with curator Jenny Laden and artists of "Facts and Fables." Conclude the evening with a storytelling program with Stephen Noble.

About the Exhibit:

This show aims to reveal the ways in which we perceive, interpret and retell our experiences of nature. The seven artists use diverse methods: memorials, guidebooks, faux landscapes, fairy tale crime scenes, live video feeds, visual perception tracking, distortion of scale, predictions and invitations.

"The exhibit provides diverse and in depth approaches to telling stories about nature. In exploring myths, facts and observations, these artists create new experiences of nature that are thoughtful, funny and ultimately, reverential, " said Jenny Laden, Director of the Art Department at The Schuylkill Center.

Read More About 'Facts and Fables' on Our Blog!

Click Here, or Visit Us at: | | 215-482-7300

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tiniest Commission Ever

Justin and I were recently awarded a commission to do a relief that was approximately 3/4" high x 1 5/8" know we work well together when we can both work on something this small and not want to kill each other (for the record, we took turns sculpting...). Having beat out 7 other people who had applied for it, we were pretty excited to have been chosen. The client is an inventor (he invented the plastic push pin!) and had an idea for upscale suspenders. The relief is to be featured on the suspenders.

Told you they were tiny...

Because of a quick turnaround time, we made 4 quick samples in a little under a week, using Klean Klay for two of them and Le Beau Touche for the other two (Hence the color difference above.)

Rough Sketch 2 in Klean Klay (detail)

Our client chose the one he liked best and we started the final piece from there, this time using medium hardness Casteline (Thanks to Jed Morfit for giving us some of his Casteline stash!) Justin LOVED the Casteline and I liked it a hell of a lot better than the other 2 clays, as it held the detail beautifully (Which was especially nice since we were working on it during the week of that heat wave!!) Justin and I took turns working on the piece, critiquing each other along the way, and this is what we ended up with:

Finished model in Casteline (Surrounding piece is silver).

Unfinished sample cast in silver.
This will get a patina and the holes will get 14k Gold screws in them...Fancy!

Justin's photos from the Wharton Esherick Museum

Darla & Olivia

Such a diva...

Wharton Esherick Outhouse, complete with Sears & Roebuck Catalog

Call for Artists: The Philadelphia Block & Blob at Storage

Here's a call for artists from Storage in South Philadelphia:

The Philadelphia Block & Blob is an art show featuring some of your favorite building and sculpting materials from childhood. The work must be built with either blocks and/or blobs. This can include, but is not limited to: Legos, Sculpey, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, KNex, Model Magic, Floam, Gak, Mega Blocks, Play-Doh, etc.

Preferably, the works will be made primarily with these types of materials. However, the show, as always at STORAGE, is open to interpretation.

Please email us as soon as possible if you are interested in participating. We will email all interested parties in the near future. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, feel free to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested.

This is an open call. If you are interested in participating, please email us at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

And the winner is...

Jeanine Lee! Congrats Jeanine! When we open you will have a free one month membership waiting for you!

And for a chance to win a free 1 week membership head on over to our Facebook page to 'Like' us and tell us which tool/piece of equipment you'd be most excited to see at the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym by midnight on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Featured in the Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor newsletter

Weekend Recap

Whew...what a busy weekend!

First we did the Kimmel Center Summer Solstice event on Saturday...(Check back tomorrow for photos of our set up). A huge thanks to everyone who came out!!

Next up was the Wharton Esherick Museum as a Father's Day Surprise for Justin on Sunday...If you've never been, we HIGHLY suggest you check it out. The drive to Paoli is beautiful and its such an amazing space. Justin had never been so Olivia and I made it happen...

Any woodworkers should check out their woodworking competition here. This year's theme is clocks. All entries are due July 1st (yikes!) so if you're interested you better get on it asap! Good luck! (Anyone who enters, send us a photo of your piece....we'll post it on the blog!)

And then we came home and Justin tore out a landing and some steps in our living room (he didn't take any photos but there were ATLEAST 50 pieces of wood making up those stairs, with tons of tiny pieces stuck here and there. It was like ghetto rigging from both the early 1920s and the 1980s...2 layers of atrocity!) Needless to say we were dragging a bit this morning but it was all worth it...!

AFTER: Where the landing/stairs used to be and the hot mess we are left with...
Notice that some genius cut through half of 2 of the steps...
this was to make way for an air return at some point, yo back when...

Check back tomorrow to see who won the free 1 month membership from the Kimmel Center event and for a chance to win a a free 1 week membership!

images from here, here and here

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Solstice Event at the Kimmel Center

This Saturday, June 18th the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym will be at the Kimmel Center from 12-6pm promoting our soon to be space, our sculpture, and POST! Our table will be inside the Kimmel Center on Tier 1 or 2 (if we find out exactly where, we will let you know!)
Stop by to enter for a chance to win a free 1 month membership (you are still eligible to enter again even if you entered at Trenton Ave Arts Fest...Just let us know you already filled out a questionnaire and we'll just put your name in), or to make a tax deductible donation to the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym Fund (to match the grant we were given by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation). We'll also have Philadelphia Sculpture Gym t-shirts and tote bags available!!

The entire event runs from 12 until 2:30am (!!) so come on by anytime on Saturday! Check out the Kimmel Center's website for a full list of events.

We hope to see you there!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sculpture, Sculpture Everywhere...and Last Chance for POST

Donald De Lue, Justice, 1940

This morning on the way back to the car from an appointment, we stopped to look at the Donald De Lue reliefs on the 9th Street Post Office building at 9th and Chestnut. I sometimes forget how much sculpture Philadelphia has hiding throughout the city... (741 sculptures, fountains, mosaics and memorials according to!) We'll periodically post some here and there as we see them when we're out and, know, because we like sculpture and all...

The couple who gives blood together, stays together...awwww....

Oh! And anyone who was thinking about signing up for POST this year, you have not missed your chance! The deadline has been extended until June 15th!!! Sign up, and even if you don't have a studio, they can help you find a space to show in! Justin and I will be participating this year so save the date! (October 15th-16th!)

We'll also be promoting POST and the Philadelphia Sculpture Gym at the Summer Solstice festival at the Kimmel Center this Saturday, June 18th! Come back tomorrow for more details!

Friday, June 10, 2011

This weekend: Art in the Open and Art for the Cash Poor

This weekend check out the fabulous art events happening in the city: Art in the Open (see below post for details) and Art for the Cash Poor 12.


InLiquid's Art for the Cash Poor is a fabulous annual party and art sale that allows art lovers the chance to meet artists, see their work first-hand, and begin or add to their art collections without breaking the bank -- all in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. A wide range of our region's best artists will be selling items priced at $199 or less, with much priced well under $100.

The Crane Arts Building 1400 N. American Street MAP

Saturday, June 11, 2011, noon - 6 pm
Sunday, June 12, 2011, noon - 6 pm
rain or shine

We'll be back Monday...Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Art in the Open 2011

This week check out Art in the Open, a citywide event that celebrates artists, their inspirations for creating art, and their relationships with the urban environment.

Art in the Open debuted in June 2010, bringing a selected group of artists to the Schuylkill Banks - from the historic Fairmount Water Works to Bartram's Garden - to inspire new ways of seeing the river and the city it runs through.

For four days, June 9-12, 2011 a juried selection of artists will again work outside in a creative process open to everyone.

Looking for sculpture? Check out the installations by four Philadelphia Sculptors members: Susan Hogan, Leslie Kaufman, Carole Loeffler, and Elizabeth Mackie

Check out for more details.

Full participant list includes Nancy Agati, Cynthia Back, Michael Bartmann, Joan Becker, Ellen K. Bonett, Harry Bower, Barbara Broughel, Brussels Collective, Zoe Cohen, Nic Coviello, Brian Dennis, Laure Drogoul, Arpie Gennetian Najarian, Amber Ginsburg and Rebecca Keller, Andrew J. Harrison, Ana B. Hernandez and Russell Mahoney, Susan Hogan, Emeka Ikebude, Leslie Kaufman, Georges Le Chevallier, Carole Loeffler, Chloris Lowe, Elizabeth Mackie, Virginia Maksymowicz, S. Zachary Martin, Sarah Jackson Moore, Peter Nein, Anna G. Norton, Francesca Pfister, Carol Philips, Christopher Pierro, Dolores Poacelli, Cynthia Richards, Abbey Ryan, Gary Garrido Schneider, Leah Stein Dance Company, Karen Stone, Lauren Vargas, Amira Najah Whitfield, Wendy Wolf

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And the winner is...

Katie VanVliet! Congratulations Katie...when we open you will have a free 1 week membership waiting for you! Thanks so much to everyone who filled out a questionnaire. Continue to check back as we will have chances to win at least once a month! (Who doesn't like winning free stuff?!)

And just because we like it...

Damián Ortega, Controller of the Universe, 2007

Winner chosen using the random number generator at

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Recap

So we accidentally took a 1 week vacation from blogging...I guess it was needed to recover from our 3 day vacation in Connecticut Memorial Day weekend!

We had an amazing time camping on our friend Bill's land. The weather was perfect. The food (cooked over the fire by Justin) was amazing (even the 'Cowboy coffee" that we all thought was going to be gross was actually quite good). The scenery was beautiful. And no one got eaten by a bear (that was my fear of the weekend...crazy I know.).

The pond in front of our campsite...

While we were in Connecticut, we visited Gillette Castle State Park, a place featuring the home (aka castle) of William Gillette. There was a ton of amazing woodwork, and a whole lot of strange secret passages and odd design choices.

From Wikipedia:

Sitting high above the Connecticut River, the castle was originally a private residence commissioned and designed by William Gillette, an American actor who is most famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on stage.

Gillette's estate, called Seventh Sister, was built in 1914 on a 184-acre (74 ha) tract on top of the southernmost of a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. After Gillette died, with no wife or children, his will precluded the possession of his castle by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded". Connecticut's government took over the property in 1943, renaming the home as Gillette's Castle and the estate as Gillette Castle State Park.

There are a number of oddities in the castle personally designed by Gillette, such as unusual doorknobs and locks, and a system of hidden mirrors for surveillance of the public rooms from the master bedroom.

The grounds used to have a railroad track with a working steam engine and electric engine that visitors could ride on, also designed by Gillette. Some of the track was purchased by Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut and is in use to transport guests around the lake. The remaining track was pulled up and converted into walking trails. From the castle's garden one can see the Connecticut River. The engines were donated back to the park in 1992, where the electric engine is on display and the steam engine awaits restoration.

The view from Gillette Castle State Park.

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle

Ceiling of Living Room in Gillette Castle

Amazing doors were everywhere throughout the castle

Window mechanisms

Window mechanism (detail)

Be sure to check back tomorrow, when we'll be announcing the winner of the free 1 week membership! Thanks so much to everyone who sent in a questionnaire!