photo ©1989 by Michael Jhon


Wave Dancers

© 1989 Arlin Robins

I created these dolphin sculptures side by side as mirror images for the entrance to the Mirage Resort in Las Vegas. 

Although each trio of bronze dolphins stands nearly 5 feet from top to bottom (not including the granite bases) the sculptures were first created as 8-inch studies (maquettes). Then they went to Todd Andrews Sculpture Company in Grass Valley. Todd, a fine sculptor in his own right, is also an enlarger. Based on the maquettes, he built structures to support the waves and "skinned" them out with clay before inviting me up to do the surface sculpting. He built the dolphin bodies out of potter's plaster over wire, and I shaped them by filing and sanding the plaster. The last details in were done in clay.

photo ©1989 by Michael Jhon

 photo by Todd Andrews

One of the rare joys of working on a project of this size is getting to be a visiting artist in another studio. Specifically at Todd Andrews' studio. He's a born teacher, so just being around him was enlightening. There was a sign on the studio wall, the red circle/slash over the word,"Can't". I met Todd's resident skeleton, Dead Ernest, his fellow artist friends in Grass Valley, and worked from early in the morning til I felt like quitting at night, or even into the early morning hours. In the hot weather, we kept the big roll-up doors open, and at night, the bats would swoop in and around catching mosquitos and other bugs! Speaking of which, Todd Andrews is an incorrigible prankster. He had plastic ants in the ice cubes, a rubber rat in the shower, and a number of surprises lurking in the shadows. (I got him back, though, with plastic cockroaches in the refrigerator and rubber frogs in the sink. )


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