Models of the past

Self taught ceramic and wood artist Paul Charron has been creating facade replicas of historic Western American architecture since 2003, inspired by his love of the west and the history of it's settlement. These are not doll house or model railroad pieces, but Paul's view of the intrinsic value held in a building's existence. Although painting and photography can capture the beauty of a building and it's environment, Paul feels that only three dimensional representation through fine detail can produce true realism. Through his patience and perseverance, Paul strives to attain the most detail he can with his mediums. His three building facade from Virginia City Nevada for example, has nearly 1000 hours of work involved. Although currently spending most of his spare time creating in his studio, he intends on gradually shifting his entire concentration to documenting the West's historic structures through his art. He is looking forward to sharing his passion and unwavering dedication to his chosen theme at history and art museums and western art galleries throughout the west.

The description of this awesome project in the hands of his own words:

"I create replicas of historic Western American building facades in approximately half scale. I concentrate on mid to late Nineteenth century buildings, because this was a time of so much activity in the West. I try to present the buildings as they may have appeared a century ago in a weathered and abandoned state, brought about by the death of a once vibrant community.
I have always been intrigued by Ghost Towns and the history of the American West. The fact that men and women with great determination and ingenuity settled such a vast region in such a short span of time is certainly a great accomplishment. I am inspired by the spirit of their endeavors every time I look at the remnants of the towns they built and left behind. There are few architectural masterpieces in these towns, but many simple, elegant, and well built monuments to this fascinating time in American history.
My art can be described as Realism, although I do take artistic license in rendering the colors and tones of the building facades, and portraying various architectural elements at different points of time in the building's life. No attempt is made to entice the viewer to look into the windows, the art is the building itself, and the spirit held within.
Working from my small home studio in Corvallis, Oregon, I first conduct research using information taken from site visits, historical photos, and Library of Congress Historic American Building Survey (HABS) diagrams. A great deal of time is taken to convert this information into templates and stabilizing supports for forming the building's shell, which is made with mid and high fire clay and/or wood. Clay shrinkage must be accounted for to achieve an approximate half inch scale. Doors, windows, and architectural details are created using various tight grained woods, metal, and glass. Color and texture is applied using fine mortar, aging solutions, powdered coloring dyes, earth tone chalks, and acrylic paints. Finished pieces can be hung or set on a pedestal or narrow shelf."
Some of the beautiful works of Paul Charron can be found in the image gallery on original post and in the facebook page dedicated : Bulding in the Past.

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