Bruce Beasley may be known by the greater art world for his internationally acclaimed sculpture, but his contributions to digital and classical fabrication techniques are of great interest to the maker community.
A native Californian, Beasley now makes his home in Oakland, working out of an amazing multi-unit sculptors complex. The ample space allows him the room and flexibility to create enormous pieces of art, mixing geometrics forms with texture surfacing techniques that play with light and space.
Working in many materials including stone and metal, he has pioneered the process of digital fabrication to create large-scale works of art. While studying at UC Berkeley, Beasley and Peter Voulkos built the first teaching foundry in a university, the Garbanzo Works, which allowed students to cast bronze and other metals. This lead to a new era of large bronze works in American sculpture.
Later in his sculpture career, Beasley became fascinated with acrylic as a potential medium for large form sculpture. However, fabrication techniques at the time limited the final size, only small pieces were able to be cast at full clarity without cracking. Even after he gained access to the major players in the plastics industry, such as DuPont, he was informed that their current industrial practices were still limited to sizes of only a few inches. Undeterred, Beasley begin experimenting with the process, eventually creating a new technique that was able to produce pieces that were several feet tall, including “Apolymon” for the State of California.
Beasley was also one of the first sculpture artists to use computer assisted design in his production process, working with firms in Germany to craft huge pieces using based on digital designs. An early adopter of 3D printing, Beasley uses digital fabrication to prototype his concepts. Many sculptors model their final creations at a smaller level to work out plans and issues before fully committing, 3D printing allows this process to be quick and streamlined.
Beasley will be showcasing one of his large-scale metal pieces at Maker Faire Bay Area this year in San Mateo. Come see Great American Art up close and in person, without the velvet rope.
Come see Bruce and some of his incredible artwork May 18-20 at Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo. Get your tickets here so you don’t miss out!