The Dentist as Artist

Or… The Artist Who Happens to be a Dentist

It was the spring of 2009 that I first tried my hand at sculpting stone. I always had a desire to pick up a chisel and when I finally did I found I had unleashed an inner talent for it. Currently I stick to abstract pieces but I plan on trying figurative sculpture in the near future.

I have found that dentistrIMG_1085_opty and stone sculpting have many things in common. I like my stone pieces to have a flow to them. A smile needs to have a sense of flow as well, where all the teeth interact with one another without any one tooth being too obvious.  I like to think of my dental restorations as a bit of personal, functional, sculpture that my patients get to take home.

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White alabaster

All of my stone sculptures are done totally by hand without the use of air driven or power tools. I have sculpted alabaster, soapstone and French limestone. Hammers, chisels, files and sandpaper all combine to give me the desired result usually in about 30-40 hours. I believe that there is purity in the work not using power tools. It is a more intimate relationship with the stone. I enjoy the evolution of the pieces from a nondescript piece of stone to the finished work. Few pieces end up exactly as I pictured them in my head before I start.

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Brazilian Soapstone

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French limestone

The pictures that follow really don’t do the work justice as sculptures are something that need to be appreciated in person. I hope to give you a taste here and I invite you to my office to see some of them up close and personal. If you like them that’s great, if you don’t that’s OK too. When I first showed them to my mom she asked me “why do you do that?”.  The answer to that is that I do it for me, it makes me feel good to stand back from one of my creations and appreciate how I participated in the evolution of the stone.  The reality is that, I feel the same way about my dentistry. I love taking that worn or unsatisfying smile and making it beautiful. Putting a smile on the face of my patients puts a smile on mine. I see myself as a dentist who is an artist, both inside and outside of my office.  I truly believe my patients benefit from it!

 

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