Artist Christopher Tully

This colorful kitty is by Christopher Tully.

by Mike Barker

Artist Christopher Tully does two unusual things with epoxy in his work. He creates large clay relief scenes with lots of detail made up of many tiles. After they are bisque fired he brushes on epoxy and heats them with a torch so the epoxy penetrates deeply into the porous clay. This creates an extremely strong surface that still has great detail. He then applies a primer and paints it with acrylics and a clear coat. Another method he uses is to first apply fiberglass cloth to a carved panel then add details like plants or animals to the surface with a mixture of epoxy and powdered clay. He says he doesn’t need to worry about shrinkage and the details are very strong so he just primes and paints it like any other piece.

Upper half of a 30′-tall hippo, elephant, rhino sculpture made of foam, epoxy, fiberglass and steel for the Brookdale Public Library, Brooklyn Center Minnesota.

Tile detail of a 8’×30′ relief scene at the Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington, Minnesota. The relief is made of clay, epoxy, and acrylics.

Christopher Tully painting some of his critters.

Mousetown, before fiberglass is applied. The 16’×4′ foam, fiberglass and epoxy sculpture was commissioned by a private business.

Tully became a full-time sculptor after studying ceramics at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. His work can be found in galleries across the country. Today he works on larger more public pieces, which can be found in nature centers, hospitals,and public libraries. To see more of Tully’s artwork, visit www.christophertully.com.

Mike Barker