As many of you know – I love to support fellow artists. As someone who designs and crafts, I really can appreciate the time and talent that goes into a hand-created piece. For the next several weeks I want to dedicate my Saturday blog to someone I have met in the creative world whom I want to share with you.
Today is another clay artist. His name is Ryan MacLeod and he is the founder and owner of his company MacLeod Dragons. I came across Ryan's work a couple of years ago on Facebook, and I knew that I just had to have one of his amazing pieces. I was very fortunate with my timing because Ryan was preparing to leave to go to India to get married. I believe that my commission was his last piece before his journey.
The nice thing about commissioning a piece was that I was able to have some input in what I wanted. Each of Ryan's creations in painstakingly sculpted by hand and the details are just amazing. Since I love the genre of "Steampunk", I requested a Steampunk dragon. (Oh – and I wanted him to add a KITTY in the piece somehow – Of Course!)
It is an amazing Steampunk Robot Dragon holding a kitty and dangling a little mouse for it to play with. The kitty is adorable, as well as the dragon:
From front to back, it is highly detailed in every way! It even has a wind-up key on the back and a lightbuld coming from his head!
Needless to say – I am THRILLED with my piece! I was so happy that I got in under the wire and invested in this wonderful sculpture. I don't have lots of bric-a-brack around, but he holds a wonderful place in my living room, where my friend Leldon built me a wonderful corner shelf for him to reside.
Fast forward two years . . .
Time passes by so quickly! After getting married in India and returning to the United States, Ryan is back to working and sculpting again. This time he has his beautiful wife Shireen and daughter Alina by his side. As most of us know, it is tough making it as an artist or having any type of creative vocation at all. Cheap items from China have flooded the market, and most places won't bear what an artist would consider a fair price for their work. I have enough painting friends and woodworking friends who can attest to this. After all – you can imagine the hours and resources needed to create one of thse wonderful sculptures. Here are a few more examples of Ryan’s work:
A Magic Dragon . . .
His most recent dragon is a beach dragon. Here is the sculpture in part fresh out of the oven:
And then later it is transformed into this:
Every detail is meticulously placed by hand.
I find that many of Ryan's pieces are sculptures withing the sculpture. They are all remarkable.
As you can imagine, the cost of these pieces is not cheap. With the many hours of work and materials that are spent on creating these beautiful sculptures, there is a very small profit for Ryan himself. While Ryan intends to expand his business in the future to possibly mass produce his pieces, right now that isn't possible. It will take a lot of work and determination for him to see his dream through, and he is working hard for some solutions which will allow him to make a living as well as continue to follow his passion.
Last week, Ryan began selling calendars of his beautiful works. It was a large investment on his part to create and order the calendars, but since he is commissioned for the next couple of years to create pieces, and the prohibitive cost for some of owning an original piece, he felt that this would be a way for manyof his followers to enjoy his talents – at a very reasonable cost.
I just received my calendar yesterday, and I must say that it is wonderful and beautiful! I think it is a great way to support a respected and talented artist and also share in his work.
If any of you are interested in purchasing a calendar, they are available in Ryan's Facebook Store. He is currently re-creating his website, so Facebook is where you are able to see his gallery of works as well as purchase a calender. It's a great opportunity to enjoy Ryan's talent without costing a fortune.
Below is a photo of Ryan with some of his larger pieces:
Aren't they wonderful?
I hope you enjoy my posts here highlighting different artists. There is not a day that goes by when I am not truly fascinated with how talented others are and I wanted to share them with you. I wish Ryan, Shireen and Alina all the best in the future.
As for me – today I am sanding, painting and assembling my next project. I have a small pile of wood here, and so far I am very pleased as to how things are coming out.
I am excited about this one! It is going to be a great deal of fun to finish up!
I hope you all have a beautiful and creative weekend!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"