Allen Eckman is widely recognized as “the world’s premier cast paper sculptor.” Born in South Gate, California in 1946 he had his formal education completed at Art Center College of Design in L.A. with a BFA in advertising and illustration in 1974. He is married to Patty Eckman, who also studied advertising art in college.
After college the couple started a small advertising company in the L.A. area while raising three children. 12 years later Allen and Patty decided they had had enough of the stressful life of advertising artists in Southern California. In 1988 the couple set out on a whole new career path which opened up an exciting and different world for both of them, the fine art of cast paper.
Cast paper sculpture has been around since the 1950’s but should not be confused with paper-maché. The two mediums are completely different. Allen first mixes an acid free paper pulp in the studio hydro-pulper from two raw stocks, cotton and abaca. Then the pulp is cast into molds, which Allen made from original clay sculptures. The paper is then pressed under vacuum pressure in the mold where most of the water is extracted at the same time. The drying process is completed by evaporation while the paper is still in the mold.
After the dry and hard casts are removed from the molds the exclusive process of chasing, cast additions, cast alterations, sculpting in paper and detailing begins. It takes a great amount of time and experience to create each piece. Some works are so painstakingly detailed they can take many months to complete.