About Caveman Al

Al working on his current project

"It is my goal to create small sculptures that are as realistic and detailed to the greatest extent possible. I hope that you cannot tell that it is not real. Every part of my creations are and must be hand made by me, or I cannot call it art. All of my work is a one of a kind and cannot be copied or duplicated, not even by me."

"Caveman" Al was born in 1934 in rural Washington State. After years traversing the western United States as a stereo engineer, photographer, electrician, and technical draftsman, all self-taught, he settled in Anacortes, Washington in 1996, to live in a part of the country beloved by his late daughter, Monica. He lived among his sculptures and the tools of his trade in a studio that doubled as his living space.

In this space, Al devoted his life to making small sculptures. One of his pieces, Rock Island, was inspired by his love of the Japanese garden. It features an arboretum in a circular case, complete with an abundance of plants and fish, a koi pond, waterfall, and rockery. There are functioning lights on the path, and the entire sculpture can be turned on a Lazy Susan.

Each new sculpture presented him with a unique challenge, whether simulating cascading water, or building a tree leaf by leaf until indistinguishable, aside from the small size, from the real thing. To achieve these effects, Al built his own tools. Whether milling each plank in a hardwood floor or simulating a crystal blue Hawaiian inlet, many projects required Al to build a new set of tools which then became part of the art itself.

Al used CAD software to assure each sculpture was built to scale. Every shrub, book, chair, painting, window, boat, pool table, and dog poo was carefully constructed down to the tiniest detail. He also kept detailed notebooks that documented the creative process, which included the CAD drawings, and in many cases, the step-by-step creative process itself.

Not only did his living studio feature his miniature creations, but they were placed on furniture he built for each piece. To utilize as much space as possible, these custom cabinets and shelves held his spare tools and art materials. Add to this his mementos, carefully arranged tools and supplies, and his small space seemed much larger than its 650 square feet. When you first set foot in this one-of-a-kind studio, you instantly knew you were in the presence of a completely unique and unconventional artist. But Al would just say you were in his cave, and proceeded to give you the grand tour.