I met Gary in town when I fixed his bicycle tire at Kristi Mountain Sports. We briefly discussed that we were both artists, and he quickly handed me his business card and said “come to the studio and we will talk more.”
That same week we spent a few hours talking about sculpture, material meaning, engineering and the idea that when we (as citizens) have the skill and knowledge with our head and hands, anything is possible. For Gary this provides a lot of hope for the future.
“You have two brains; one is in your head and the other in your heart” -Gary Hirsh
Gary is from Israel but has lived in the United States for about 7 years. Though his accent can be hard to understand at times, when he speaks in detail about his practice everything becomes clear. Gary is eager to teach about the CNC machine that he has had less than a year and already used to create more than 600 works. He took me through the process of finding or creating an image on the computer and how to upload the 3D imaging to the machine itself. Now, I am no engineer nor am I great or even good at math, but this artistic style felt rather approachable to make seemingly simple designs – at least the designs we started at the beginner level.
Though the CNC machine is a whole new and interesting world to me, I am enthralled with his hand-carved works and driftwood clocks he creates. I had the opportunity to travel with Gary to Terrace Reservoir to seek out interesting pieces of driftwood to make small whittled works of art.
“You must use your imagination…what do you see?” -Gary Hirsh
Gary has many stories and much knowledge to share, too many to type in this short article or have represented in the video paired with this profile. My best advice to you: view his catalog of images and hand made works (I have already purchased 3 pieces for Christmas gifts) and make sure to talk with him if you can.
Support local art this holiday season!
Here’s a video of Gary at work: