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Sculpting Demonstrations With Robin Platt

Perhaps you have listened to local poet Robin Platt read one of his anti-war poems during an open mic night at Vida E Caffe. What you may or may not know is that Platt is also a painter and an exceptional sculptor. As of late, he is hosting daily sculpting demonstrations at Rainbow Flowers & Gifts downtown, working on a crucifix well over 5-feet-tall.This is his third attempt to complete the piece; he has been working on it for the last month.

“Jesus Christ was a great man, and the images that I’ve seen of crucifixes make it look like he was okay with it,” Platt says. “I’m trying to express that it hurts like hell to get crucified.”

Platt’s other pieces have similarly dark undertones. Several reflect his stance on war.

“All of my figures are thin; the reason for this is that man hasn’t reached his full intellectual capacity,” he says. “War would be a shining example of that.”

He uses copper-coated wire or baling wire to create these rail-thin figurines, twisting them into body-like shapes. He coats them with a mixture of casting plaster, papier–mâché and a bonding agent, and uses a screwdriver, Popsicle stick and toothpick to carve in the details. Usually he makes the bases out of chunks of trees that were felled by lightning, storms or old age.

Each of his sculptures are gritty. There is a reason for that too, he says. As life is not smooth, the faces and figures he creates should not be, either.

For the last 12 to 15 years, art has been Platt’s outlet. After working in the mines as an electrician for 25 years, he got taken off the job due to an industrial injury.

“I had to learn something new,” he recalls, “or I’d go nuts.”

So he pursued art, first attending Gila Pueblo Community College and then Arizona State University. Nowadays his life is committed to creativity, and he carries a notebook to record his thoughts.

Whether he is reflecting on life, love or loss, “my head runs wild with ideas,” he says.

Platt will continue his sculpting demonstrations at Rainbow Flowers & Gifts on Broad Street until he has completed his current piece. You can catch him there Monday through Friday between 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


About Jenn Walker

Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.

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