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MiVT: Campbell Plaster & Iron

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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WEST RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - His Made in Vermont creations start here but could end up anywhere in the world. Our Elissa Borden has his story.

“I meet the sculptural needs of the artist and the architect, but for the most part, I’m an art foundry, ” said Glenn Campbell.

Some might say Campbell was born into his artistic genes. “It was my mother really, I mean she just always introduced us to things. We made things, we painted, and we saw her paint and she’d sell paintings and I think both my sister and I sort of naturally tended that way,” he says.

After school at Cornell and then the Rhode Island School of Design, Campbell opened Campbell Plaster & Iron in 1988. He’s been at it ever since. “When I retire, this is going to be my studio. I’m going to do my own work. It’s going to be a slow transition,” he said.

In his West Rutland studio, there are a lot of different things going on at any given time. His work is not confined to just plaster and iron. We’re told those are just Campbell’s favorites to work with. He and his lone employee, Keith, are always working on something you wouldn’t see every day.

“We’re making a rubber mold off of a seven-foot piece over there that’s going to be cast in bronze,” Campbell says, pointing to a bright pink, human-looking figure. “And here I’m doing sand mold, which is a very different process.”

The sand mold he shows us will eventually be a nine-foot whale tale, sent to Provincetown, Massachusetts. But the reach of Campbell’s work spans far beyond New England, and in some cases, America. “I did a piece that ultimately went to Dubai... Atlantis,” he says. “9 [or] 10-foot fish that I enlarged and made a mold and sent the mold to Toronto, they cast the plaster pieces and flew them to Dubai.”

Though some folks are into their work for the paycheck, Campbell is into it purely for the plaster, and the iron, and the bronze, and the plastic.

And though they’re made in his small studio in Vermont, you’ll find these passion projects scattered all over the world.

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