Cairn Studio List
Of Unusual, Rare Artwork
The Cairn Studio artwork is created; first by the artist sculpting the figure in clay, then a silicon mold is made (the original clay sculpture normally is destroyed during this process); a combination of pecan shell flour and a catalyst is then poured into the mold; the curing process may take a few minutes for smaller pieces and much longer for the large pieces. During the curing process, tremendous heat is generated, which eventually damages the mold (or a mold may become damaged accidentally as the artwork is removed). Once the mold is damaged, it is destroyed and another mold is made. The number of pieces produced, per mold, is dependent on the size of the piece. On very large pieces, the mold, due to the generated heat, deteriorates much faster, and only a few pieces may be cast. While on smaller pieces, several hundred pieces may be cast before the mold is damaged. Subsequent molds are made by using artwork from the original mold as masters. Naturally, it is not practical from a production tandpoint to cast only one piece at a time, thus a number of molds are made prior to production casting.
Once a piece is cast, the artwork is then finished by sanding any mold marks and hand painted by individual artist. This involves approximately a dozen individual steps.
Back to the first mold:
Artwork from the first mold becomes models for all molds that follows. These pieces are known as master pieces and are identified with markings "M" (Master), "P" (Proof), 0 (Zero), 00 (double zero) or maybe no marking
at all instead of edition numbers. As other molds are produced, this marking is drilled out, a piece of clay is inserted, and the edition number (mold Number) is made in the clay. At this time, certain changes may be made by sanding details away, or through use of clay to add additional detail. The result being "Variations". Since Cairn uses edition numbers 1 through 99 and with the low number of pieces which can be cast from a single mold, it is impossible that thousands of pieces can be produced without repeating mold (edition) numbers. We understand that edition number 1-20 are not repeated but 21-99 may be repeated. Thus, edition 1-20 are considered to be the most rare and desirable pieces to own. The lower the number the better. However, the average collector is more impressed with the appearance of an individual piece rather than the edition number.
In order to determine the color scheme, artwork is turned over to various painters who, with artist guidelines,
use their imaginations to create a color scheme. In addition, a few pieces may be stained only. Production pieces are then chosen from the various stained or painted pieces. Note: Some of the old rare pieces were stained only. The only recent piece released in stain rather than painted, is Davey Crockett.
Normally, but not always, paint samples and stained artwork is out of the proof or low edition number group.
Master, proofs, drilled out, number 0 and 00, paint samples and stained pieces (unless this is to be the production piece) are not supposed to be released from the studio for resale. However, on rare occasions they accidentally are shipped and become available on the open market. This artwork is very rare and very valuable to the devout collector.
A variation constitutes a difference in the same piece of artwork. It may be a miner or significant difference. Secondary market value is determined by the number of pieces having a specific variation. Since the studio does not now report production numbers and usually do not report variations, it is up to those active on the secondary market, over a period of time to research, learn of and to report variations. Initially, to determine variations, it is necessary to compare one piece against another. Once a variation is found, it should be reported to those brokers, professional collectors and dealers, who are active on the secondary market. The average collector most likely will never know whether or not they have a variation, since they normally have nothing to compare with. We recommend that each collector have all of the volumes of the Cairn artwork. First to be able to identify all pieces and possibly, be able to compare your piece to find variations. Three good examples of variations which tremendously affected the secondary price are:
100 pieces produced for Xerox Corporation and presented tocertain employees in appreciation for their work on a project. Lucky
s the production run and the only difference between Xerox and Lucky is the lettering VA/VE 1979 and the absence of the name Lucky. True secondary market value of Lucky is $300.00-$400.00 where as Xerox is $4400.00-$5,000.00
The first Scandi had a tail with a ribbon (edition up to 10) and will sell in excess of $700.00. The latest Scandi, which is not retired, sells for $80-$90.00.
The most recent significant variation is in M.D. In 1996,200 pieces were created for the fall meeting of the Northeast Society of Urologist. The piece has NES-AUA, New York, 1996 and has a buffalo nickel placed over the original coin. Edition numbers are nr 1-7. Approximately 37 pieces were not sold at the meeting and were purchased y a N. C. collector. Thus, we
have an extremely rare piece. Today's secondary price is up to $300.00 but look for it to appreciate at a very fast pace.
I'm certain there are others which are not known. If you have a piece which is unique to normal pieces, please notify me, the studio and/or exchange managers for publication. Certain pieces with variation are valued by collectors and prices should be adjusted accordingly. A variation may have been made intentionally by Tom Clark, such as the possible 13 different variations of Baker. It may be an honest mistake made by the mold craftsman or painters, or the sanders may have been over zealous. In any event, any variance, especially if produced in low quantity, is more in demand from collectors, thus more valuable.
This "Variations List" of Tom Clark's creations, is complete to our knowledge, for all artwork released by May 1, 2000.
There is also a "Totals List" of statues that were created by Tom Clark. This list was supplied by Cairn Ltd.