Wildlife Art in Bronze
The Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.



"My ideas come from a life time of experiences and the God given talents that the Lord has given me. I actually have more ideas than I can ever develop".

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The Idea! -Wildlife Art in BronzeThe Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.
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The Idea!
The Idea
Each sculpture must first be based upon an idea or experience that reflects life around me. I'll take that idea and develop it in my mind, until I determine whether it is exciting enough to continue. Once I've narrowed down the idea, I refine the composition until I am satisfied and begin the sculpting process.

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Spraying the armature with foam. -Wildlife Art in BronzeThe Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.
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Spraying the armature with foam.
The Armature
I begin with the armature. An armature is like a skeleton; it is the foundation and support for the clay. Armatures require extensive planning and are constructed of pipe, rebar and aluminum wire. The armature must be accurate and true to the anatomy and scale of the subject. What is configured on the inside will reflect itself throughout the sculpture.

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Roughing out the basic shape on the foam armature. -Wildlife Art in BronzeThe Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.
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Roughing out the basic shape on the foam armature.

The Foam
Next the foam is sprayed on the armature to give the piece body and then carved to reflect the basic shape of the subject.

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Sculpting the details in clay -Wildlife Art in BronzeThe Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.
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Sculpting the details in clay
The Sculpting the Clay
I now apply clay to the foam body giving it form and anatomical detail. Developing the muscles gives the piece motion and attitude. When this part is complete, the texture of the surface is developed with a variety of tools to achieve the desired finish.

Next comes the foundry process. The greatest number of hours are spent on this process. The detail of the piece come to the surface of the finished sculpture.

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The finished piece. -Wildlife Art in BronzeThe Creative Process of Mike Flanagan.
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The finished piece.


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