Jesse sculpted life-sized animal heads, maintaining three constant themes; fierceness, an application of mixed media, and a painting process which resulted in the appearance of an aged copper pigment to his final product. At the end of his junior year, he was notified he had been selected as one of two students at Muhlenberg College to continue his work for an exhibition which was held at the end of his senior year at Muhlenberg College in 2013.
Jesse’s animal fascination began at a very young age and continued with him to the present time. He shares a common love for all animals; however, he wanted to capture the look and feel of the “fiercest” animals on the planet. With this theme, Jesse felt he had more latitude for creating emotion through the eyes and facial features of his sculptures. Since realism is a big part of Jesse’s work, his sculptures replicated the actual size of the animals he decided to sculpt. As a result, his pieces range from several hundred pounds to almost 500 pounds, before being fired. By displaying the actual size and girth of the animals, viewers can appreciate the closest thing to a face-to-face encounter with each animal sculpted.
Another unique theme Jesse incorporated into each animal he sculpted is the application of his “mixed media” in his clay pieces. Adding to the realistic aspect of his work, Jesse was able to locate actual organic parts of the animal. Among them were bull horns and various teeth of the species of the animals that he sculpted. Many of the teeth and the bull horns were purchased from tellmewhereonearth.com, where he has been featured on that website as an up and coming artist. Both Glenn and Heidi Reed, who own the company, have been very helpful and encouraging through his transformation as a sculptor.
His final step in completing each piece consists of using copper to age his sculptures. He begins this process by priming the fired pieces with black spray paint. He then lightly paints over the primer with copper paint, containing actual copper pigment. After two coats, he finishes with a few sprays of liquid patina. The oxidation process happens very quickly. Almost immediately the copper begins to take on a slight green tint. The end result, which takes several days, creates the illusion of old, aged weathered copper. Jesse strives to evoke emotion through his pieces. Many have agreed these sculptures appear as if they were rediscovered from ancient times.
Over the last year, Jesse has been in numerous art showings, including two juried exhibitions. His pieces were first displayed in the spring of 2013 at the Martin Art Gallery in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His last showing was a juried exhibition at The Carriage Barn in New Canaan, Connecticut, where he displayed his lion head and bull head in the Fall of 2013.