Larry works with simple materials and objects that present some kind of history: rusted metal, found cloth, or scraps of wood. His typical paint medium is beeswax that he mixes with pigments. Occasionally he carves his brushes from twigs and often, if an object he wants is not readily available, he will create it.
He experiments with unique surface treatments and since 1995 he is known for the signature look and feel of his dress sculptures with their simple, yet elegant shapes and leathery, tactile surfaces. They are often compared to pioneer or shaker styling and have evoked surprisingly emotional responses.
Often the subject matter of his art builds on hear-say narratives passed along in the remote logging and farming community where he was raised.
Larry Calkins was born in 1955 in Corvallis, OR and spent the first two decades of his life in a small logging community called Harlan. He stepped into the family tradition of working with logging operations in the woods, but after being involved in severe accidents, he decided to pursue his talents of expressing himself in the arts. Before entering the job market he traveled widely throughout the US and Europe. From 1983 to 2003 he consistently worked in prominent photo labs as a part-time black & white custom printer.
He now lives with his wife of twenty years in a rural area outside of Issaquah, WA, where they enjoy the company of various house pets, chickens, a donkey and 2 mules. Larry works there in his studio, metal shop and darkroom, as well as photo editing on his personal computer.