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Delivering Free K-5 Art Lessons conceived and inspired by working Northwest Artists

Tony Furtado

The number one inspiration for my art is the natural world and finding expressive and engaging ways to portray what I see and feel. Whether it is an accurate biological rendering or a stylized and surreal statement, my process almost always begins with me imagining a creature, person, or structure (sometimes all at once) somehow differently. I try to capture the duality of what is fierce and fragile in the form as I find myself driven by the tension between survival and surrender, something we all endure as part of this wildly changing planet.

Most everything I make starts with a lump of clay, or a soon to be slip-coated and fired bamboo skewer lattice-work form. Some of my work is glazed but most of my pieces are surfaced with a tough, non-fired coating called Forton (a resin based casting material) that I mix with metal powders (copper, iron, and aluminum usually) which is cured and oxidized, giving it a look of bronze or distressed iron. I also frequently find myself utilizing other materials to complete a vision. For example, perhaps lacquer coated paper stretched over a metal coated wooden frame is just what I need to soften the unforgiving weight of the fired clay.