Featured Artist Rex Benson - Part One
A Chat with Sculptor Rex Benson
Rex Benson approaches his work with a unique sense of humor and charisma. Working locally, Rex creates whimsical sculptures and "3-D Cartoons", using Rovin clay bodies. Recently, Rex chatted with us about his process, studio habits, and background. Here is part one of that conversation! Rex will be joining us at Rovin for a FREE Artist Talk, on May 15 from 6:30-7:30pm. He will be generously sharing his unique techniques and insights.
How did you become a clay artist?
My interests were always in 2-D and I was an avid cartoonist when a high school art teacher encouraged me to sculpt my cartoons in clay. While hoping to do something in the two dimensional field or maybe go into radio, I backed into a situation where clay and kilns were available so I revisited my clay roots and found I still had some skills. When friends and relatives started buying my pieces, I considered unleashing my stuff on the unsuspecting public.
It seems like there are several "characters" who have recurring rolls in your work. How have you developed these characters?
These characters evolve over time and almost seem to develop themselves- a dragon shows up one day then he's wearing a tie- in short order he's wearing a tuxedo walking a pet fish.
What does your work routine look like?
After forty years of doing this for a living, one would think I would have developed some kind of routine but my routine is more like that of a cat. It is pretty organic and probably the only thing routine about my work is that most of my sculptures have been created between midnight and six A.M.
What are your favorite tools to work with?
I use several tools that are typically intended for other purposes- chopsticks, sharpened dowels, butter knives etc. Like many clay artists, I make many of my own tools. Texture is big with me so I have my eyes open all the time for anything that will bring yet another texture into my stable.