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.

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.

Brazilian Soapstone
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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