window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-2SDTJTBDFN'); Squeezes - Steve Tobin


The theme of unseen power: The inside of the hand when squeezing is the fundamental mystery and power of humanity. From birth, the instinct to squeeze, hidden inside the closed hand, remains.

I take warm wax in my two hands and create the form in a single second’s squeeze while my hands are underwater to instantly freeze the wax. In a zero-gravity situation (wax has the same density as water), they are not altered, so it is a singular event of creation—a squeeze.

Keeping about 1 out of 50 squeezes is my editing process. Then I “lost wax” cast them into bronze in my own foundry. The hand-sized squeezes receive my unique patinas, sometimes taking 8 hours to patina a single 6” sculpture. You can fit your hands into these small pieces and find an exact fit, discovering my exact hand position.

1 out of 1,000 waxes gets chosen to enlarge: first to 40” high in bronze, mounted on a 2” high black granite base, then sometimes elevated another 30” on a steel base with a salt-rusted patina for indoors or outdoors.

Occasionally, I enlarge again, from 7’ high to 14’ high, upsized to any size by commission. Upsizing is achieved by high-detail scanning and 3D printing to a 1-to-1 scale, so 3D printed models are up to 14’ high so far. Then we make rubber molds from the 3D print and pull waxes from the rubber and cast into bronze using traditional lost wax casting. The large squeeze sculptures are cast in about 34 parts, then welded together and perfected for patina.

Mostly, I use a traditional copper green patina on the large squeezes to associate them with classical figurative Roman and Greek bronzes as well as Michelangelo, Rodin, and Moore. My modern take on the abstraction of the human form hidden inside our hands is a single squeeze, the EVENT of creation.

They are a bit like 3D Rorschach tests, stimulating the viewers’ Jungian response to the gestalt of creation.