My work gravitates toward uplifting and inspirational themes, often Ancient themes, leveraging the figure’s range to draw out transcendent truth and contemporary messages of hope and redemption.
Within this context, my emphasis is on composition. Be it sheep or children, I am looking for the right posture, the natural stance, the proper spacing, the perfect tension to make the work sculpturally compelling. I strive for conceptual consistency from style and patina through to the presentation on the base. Many of my new pieces are displayed on large black walnut blocks. This creates a specific space for the composition to breath and affords a more monumental presence to the work.
Glass is a new medium for me and I am really liking the added dimensionality and the element of luminosity. In a piece like When You Pass Through, there is a great contrast that the cool, rigid glass strikes against the warm, impressionistic bronze, helping to carry the extraordinary elements of the narrative.
In 2010, Clay was nominated and subsequently voted into the National Sculptor's Guild, headquartered in Loveland, CO. In 2012, he was elected a Fellow, joining just 15 other sculptors.
The purpose of the Guild is "to champion a community of artists and to serve as a bridge between these artists and the public." The Guild is responsible for over 300 prominent sculpture placements across the nation. They aggressively seek out Requests for Proposals and submit on behalf of the Guild artists, and then manage and assist in the process, delivery, and installation of projects that are won.
Founded in 1893, the National Sculpture Society is the oldest organization of professional sculptors in the United States. The NSS, headquarted in New York City, has remained dedicated to promoting figurative and realistic sculpture., It publishes Sculpture Review on a quarterly basis, which is often referred to as the foremost figurative sculpture magazine in the world.
In 2011, Clay was juried in as an Elected member of this prestigious organization. In 2013, he will show a piece in their Annual Awards Exhibition for the second time.