Matthew Visyak's Domain


My First Sculpture

Even though most of my sculpting work was completed in college, I have had the desire to make various objects out of odd materials since I was little. Most people know about the paper-mache process, but did you also know that you can make the same type of durable material from toilet paper and water. No joke. I must have really been bored waiting for my new Nintendo games that I asked Santa to bring me one winter, but I thought it would be neat to craft an ornament for the Christmas tree using half a roll of toilet paper, water, and some Elmer's school glue.

Basically I created a likeness of Mario, from Super Mario World, climbing up out of a pipe with a cape around his neck. I created the rough form by wading up small balls of paper and then using whole sheets to hold the balls together into one form. Apparently quilted allows you to do this without falling apart. I wouldn't advise trying this with single ply.

At any rate you kind of fuse together the form and occasionally introduce glue into the mixture. At the end you need to mummify the finished form and let the whole thing dry for a good couple of days so it can solidify.

Once the paper sculpture is dry you can color it with some magic markers. Sometimes it is easier to slightly dilute some of the markers ink, from the marker's inner cylindrical core, and then paint the color onto it. I used colored construction paper to add the final details such as his eyes, the "M" on his hat, and his cape.

College Level Sculpture

I carried my interest of sculpture into my college years where my medium became metal, clay, and bronze. Please feel free to look at the various projects and their corresponding photo galleries.


From an initial paper mockup, a unique structure had to be created utilizing positive and negative space. Once a preliminary form was derived, the next task was constructing the object out of clay. My form exhibited a strong sense of symmetry. I created additional versions of the form adding an organic feel to the symmetrical form by adding waves and ripples to the flat surfaces. The final result was an uncanny resemblance to a flower.

View Clay Sculptures


Using the same paper mockup that was used for the clay forms I decided to create the same symmetrical form out of metal. This was my first attempt at arc welding but I think I did alright. The toughest part was squaring off the rounded welds to form a ninety degree angle on the sides where the individual planes joined. I had to build up the weld past the sides and grind it down to ninety degrees with an angle grinder.

The final form was able to be positioned to allow for dynamic as well as symmetric poses.

View Metal Sculptures

Bronze Casting

Back before I knew that dangers of HFCS I used Amp energy drinks to get myself through several late nights of studying and art projects. When it came time to do bronze casting in sculpture class, I decided to create the Caffeine Monster. This form was inspired by taking a cereal box plush doll toy and attaching it to an empty can of AMP.

During the wax mold process, I sculpted additional features on the mold to make the transformation from cute to menacing. I painted the wax over the doll creating spiked hair and a set a fangs protruding from it gapping jaws. Its arms were partially attached to the can giving it the appearance that it was violently tearing itself free from the can with liquid steel clicking to its limbs.

View Bronze Sculptures

Mixed Media

Two of my defining pieces "Erasist Chest" and "Stereopoly" were exhibited in the Allegheny College art gallery. Erasist Chess was ultimately purchase by Allegheny College for display in the "Common Grounds" coffee house. This incorporated multimedia to address the topic of racism, a topic that I chose to explore through many of my works.

The idea was to address this topic in a manner that would make the audience think about the impact of racism in the modern world and allow them to reflect on where they stoud on the topic. I wanted this work to be interactive for the audience so I make the layers of words a checkered board print. I placed this print on the face of the game board, encasing it under a Plexiglas surface in a polished oak frame to give it a sense of craftmanship.

In the same theme the Stereoploy project served as another vessel to explore racism. This time I choose to create a board game mimicking monopoly. This piece was designed to play up the two different extremes of racism and invite the viewer to discover the true message through interaction. The full size game board would display one message out in plain view and the property cards would paint a different picture.

The game board was made up of glossy printouts which covered the surface and had the same foldable compact functionality found in store bought board games. This was a fully playable game complete with trading cards printed on cardstock, monopoly houses, custom figurines, and convincing, fabricated play money. I even crafted a cardboard box for the game and all of its pieces with the same glossy, industrial feel.

View Erasist Chest Piece

View Stereopoly Piece