REIN TRIEFELDT--Artworks for Sale. BIDDINGTON'S SCULPTURE GALLERY--More Sculpture in Various Media.
PROCESS visits the New Jersey studio
of kinetic sculptor Rein Triefeldt.
Editor's Note 2008: This interview was conducted at Rein Triefeldt's studio in April 2000. Rein Triefeldt is, to the best of our knowledge, the first kinetic sculptor to power his works using solar panels. See a video of Triefeldt's Solar Butterfly installed and working in Florida. For information on Rein Triefeldt's activities involving solar powered kinetic sculpture see the December 2003 issue of "Sculpture" magazine. The sculptor's most recent works include large scale public and private commissions.
In 2008, Rein Triefeldt working in concert with teachers and students in the San Francisco Bay area, began developing the Solar Tree Project.
Rein Triefeldt Maquette for Solar Tree
Rein Triefeldt: People usually ask artists about sources,
inspiration and ideas. Since I create kinetic, or moving sculpture, people nearly
always ask me how my work is made:
I begin with the simplest of exploratory
drawings--pen and ink or pencil on a paper
bag or sometimes even welding chalk on the side of a tool box or
board. In these sketches I am composing the framework, the body
of the sculpture, and giving some indication of the travel (or orbit) of
the kinetic element.
Rein Triefeldt with Tabletop Scale Kinetic Bronzes
Rein Triefeldt Migration study in gouache completed after the bronze sculpture
Bronze Casts of Rough Elements for Sculptures (right)
Rein Triefeldt: Soon I'm off the drawing board selecting from
an inventory of wood and metal elements--balls, discs, plaster, styro-foam, wax, rods or bits of old sculptures. Working quickly and
crudely, I assemble the elements by clipping, gluing or taping them
together in order to quickly visualize the piece. This process brings
problems to light that will require study and more precise solutions.
Here is where I begin making decisions of proportion, size, weight,
materials, balance, engineering and time.
Rein Triefeldt: The small bronzes are modeled in plasticine (a
fine oil-based clay). I mold the clay; then I cast the form in plaster
or bronze. (The clay is discarded.) Next, I sand and shape the
figures and carve the details in by hand. I prefer to do my fine
finishing work directly in the bronze. Bronze is capable of holding
shape and details without being broken. A rubber mold is taken
from this figure and the figure is nearly ready to become an element
in the sculpture.
Rein Triefeldt: Sanding and filing the bronze surfaces prepare the sculpture for the
patina. I paint the patina chemicals onto the bronze with a patina
brush--then fire the piece.
Triefeldt Holding Patina Brush
Rein Triefeldt: My earlier bronzes are rather restrained
in the use of patina: traditionally bronze-colored figures with black
frames. My current works are livelier and include red, green and blue
patinas on the bronze surfaces; I even gilded one element on an
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Bronze
"Flyer IX"(left) with Traditional Patina
Colored Patina Detail
from Rotating Bronze Sculpture
Arc Varekai (right)
Rein Triefeldt: Balance and complete ease of motion are key
concerns in my work. I use fine industrial bearings; the axle rod of
the sculpture is turned on a lathe to help the figures spin freely.
When the bronze elements are ready, I lay them out on the floor and
balance them crudely on a teeter-totter kind of board.
Rein Triefeldt: As the parts are welded, changes occur in
structure, spatial relationships and balance. Once the sculpture is
assembled, I tune and adjust the balance by hand--each sculpture's
movement is unique.
Rein Triefeldt: Casting of the bronze elements for the
sculptures takes months, then the welding and assembly takes about
a week and the patina about a day. So, from exploratory sketches to
finished sculpture is a long process.
Rein Triefeldt: The "Orbiter" series is serious in tone. The basic
form is that of a sphere--but it strongly resembles a land mine. I
have dealt with environmental and ecological concerns in my work
for a number of years. "Orbiter" continues this vein. "Migration"--the sculpture, related drawings and the print--are specifically inspired by my own family history as refugees from Estonia during World War II.
Rein Triefeldt Migration
Bronze Kinetic Sculpture (right)
Rein Triefeldt Migration
Editioned Original Print
Rein Triefeldt: My large sculpture exhibited at the
Atlanta Olympics, was about athleticism and dance motion.
The Olympic Flyer developed my interest in choreographing
sculptural movement even further.
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture "Olympic Flyer" (left)
Rein Triefeldt: There are many sources or inspiration--direct
and indirect--in my work. I'm doing more with the bronze surface
itself; that is the result of looking at old African pieces. In 20th
century sculpture, I've learned by looking at sculptors Joel
Shapiro and George Rickey.
Rein Triefeldt: My series Cirque de la Lune is
inspired by the Cirque du Soleil performances. They are a creative,
high-energy group. I've been honored to be their guest at several performances. I share a affinity with Cirque in the sense of having rhythm, balance and emotion in my work. Often, a Cirque concept or even a specific Cirque performer will influence my sculpture.
Rein Triefeldt "Le Baron"
Editioned Digital Print
Rein Triefeldt: My work is light-hearted and thrilling. With this series, I subvert the historical expectations of traditional bronze
sculpture as I work against logic, and gravity in these whimsical
kinetic sculptures. These sculptures are all about motion, balance and
See Rein Triefeldt kinetic sculpture, gouaches & editioned digital prints for sale in
BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price range: $1,500-$30,000 for editioned works; commissions priced on request.
Rein Triefeldt creates site-specific sculpture for interiors, gardens or large outdoor spaces for private or institutional collectors.
Email: email@example.com for more recent biographical information and about sculpture commissions.
Rein Triefeldt Selected Public Art Exhibitions Commissions:
2003 Dutch Biennale "Art In Motion"
1998 "Sculpture Now" Washington, DC
1998 Merrill Lynch Building, Canada.
Commissioned by Developer PHP Management Limited
1997 University of Windsor, C.A.W. Student Center,
Commissioned by University of Windsor, Public
1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Atlanta, Georgia.
Commissioned by Developer PHP Management Limited
Rein Triefeldt Selected Corporate Collections:
John Kuhn Bleimaier, Law Offices, Princeton, New Jersey
Can-Am Communications, New York, New York
Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong
Harry Rosen Gentlemen's Apparel, Toronto, Canada
Johnson Restorations, Ottawa, Canada
Marasco, Detroit, Michigan
Meltzer & Associates, Washington, DC
Merrill Lynch Building, PHP Management Limited, Windsor,
Private Collection, The Netherlands
Scotiabank, Toronto, Canada
Shearson-Lehman Brothers, Stamford, Connecticut
University of Windsor, C.A.W. Student Center, Windsor, Canada
The Williams Collection, Princeton, New Jersey
ABOUT THIS FEATURE
CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.
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