Tim Bruck­ner

Triple as­pect The Amer­i­can sculp­ture and poly­math shows us around not one but three fas­ci­nat­ing workspaces…

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If you’re an artist, you spend more time in your stu­dio than any­where else. Even when you don’t have to be there, some­how, there you are! It can be a place of trou­bling frus­tra­tion, anger, de­pres­sion and, of course, great joy.

My stu­dio is a con­verted calf barn. When we moved to the farm it was just another out­build­ing des­tined for stor­age. At the time I was work­ing out of what would be­come our daugh­ter’s bed­room. It was very cramped in there.

First, Stu­dio A was com­pleted. If you sculpt then you’ll soon pro­duce lots of sculp­ture and you need a place to put them. I have two dis­play cases in Stu­dio A. I re­mem­ber my first day in the stu­dio: it felt cav­ernous. Too much room. Too much ceil­ing. But then I got used to it, and then I needed more room. And so we took the decision to set up Stu­dio B.

Stu­dio B is for mould­mak­ing, cast­ing and clean­ing resins. Work­ing with sil­i­cone rub­ber and resins is a messy business that could ac­count for the stu­dio be­ing in the state it’s in. I have two pres­sure pots: a 10-gal­lon model on the floor and a 2.5-gal­lon unit on the cast­ing ta­ble. I use the smaller one con­stantly. The 10-gal­lon, although rarely used, is a life saver. I never use a vac­uum cham­ber – it seems like a waste of time and money. You can’t cast with it, and a pres­sure pot will do the same job as a vac­uum cham­ber: it’ll de-air the sil­i­con rub­ber and pro­duce bet­ter moulds with less work.

Stu­dio C was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion, in keep­ing each space func­tion-spe­cific. My paint set up is pretty ba­sic. Ninety nine per cent of what I paint is brush work. I use cel vinyl paint, which can be pur­chased di­rectly

from Car­toon Colours. There’s a re­ally good chap­ter on paint ap­pli­ca­tion in the book Pop Sculp­ture, which I co-au­thored. Any paint work is al­ways at the ser­vice of the piece. You can bury a good piece un­der an overly am­bi­tious paint ap­pli­ca­tion. Con­versely, you can up­lift a poorly sculp­tured piece by re­di­rect­ion.

Th­ese days, it's hard to imag­ine not hav­ing all th­ese spa­ces. Tim's 40-year ca­reer has seen him work on ev­ery­thing from al­bum cov­ers to spe­cial ef­fects, but sculp­ture is his spe­cial­ity. You can see more of his work at www.tim­bruck­ner.com.

Here’s my photo setup. To the left of the door is the al­bum I did for Ray Charles’s Re­nais­sance al­bum. Next to this is Spi­der Jerusalem, an ac­tion fig­ure I did for DC Di­rect, and the ac­tion fig­ure of Ghost Rider, which I made for Toy Biz.

Stu­dio C This is where I do all the paint work, pho­tog­ra­phy, photo clean-up and com­puter work. It’s up­stairs and has good nat­u­ral light all day long. Far right is my more lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Duchamp’s Nude De­scend­ing a Stair­case.

Pic­tured here are the five most im­por­tant tools in this stu­dio, aside from my two pres­sure pots. The mi­crowave heats the moulds, to the right of that are the drill press and band saw. In front of the win­dow is the belt san­der and on the far right is the room tem­per­a­ture vul­can­i­sa­tion (RTV) sil­i­cone cra­dle. I built the cra­dle to support the heavy drum when I’m pour­ing out the RTV. It’s both a time saver and a back saver! The man­nequin is great for work­ing out cos­tume de­tails. I used it a lot when work­ing on my Christ­mas Carol Col­lec­tion. You can’t have too many books – un­til you don’t have any place to put them. The smaller pot is in a green metal bowl. It’s filled with sand. You al­ways want to try and cast with the floor of the pot level. This setup en­ables me to eas­ily ad­just the pot.

Stu­dio A Most of the 2D de­sign work takes place at the draft­ing ta­ble. The work­sta­tion to the right of it is for mould con­struc­tion, clay cut­ting and var­i­ous and sundry other pro­cesses. The yel­low mat area is where I’ll do full-fig­ure clay-roughs that are too big to work on at desk level.

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