Bill Mack unknowingly began his art career at age four when he created an amazing free-hand reproduction of a dollar bill. He had instinctively begun by perfecting the art of line drawing, a technique he still employs today to create his relief sculptures. With no other artists in his family, it is amazing how he continued to evolve as an artist ... entirely self-taught. By the time he was in high school, Mack was painting and selling oil portraits.
At age seventeen he went to work as a draftsman for an ornamental bronze studio for the summer. During that brief time, the affinity he had for sculpture was revealed, and thus began a career in relief sculpture that has continued for over thirty years. Still uncertain about the success of a artistic career, Mack graduated from the University of Minnesota in the mid-sixties with a journalism major and an art minor. As he entered the job market, he continued his side work as a commissioned sculptor specializing in relief. Eventually, Mack quit the business world to become a commissioned artist on a full-time basis.
He found financial success over the next twenty years creating relief sculptures for prestigious corporate clients, but it wasn't until the early 1980's that he found true satisfaction with the decision to go out on his own. Determined, Mack was now free to utilize all his skill and acquired knowledge to create pieces of his own inspiration. Like the ancient sculptors of Greece, with whom Mack most closely identifies, he begins each piece with a line drawing. This preliminary sketch allows the artist to perfect the crucial elements of foreshortening, a technique used to convince the viewer of greater depth within a limited space. Once completed, Mack then translates his drawing into a full-size clay model from which the mold is made. His wife Deborah has served as the principal model for most of his female figures. A trial piece is then cast and studied for up to several weeks for design imperfections. Each piece in the final edition is cast under Mack's watchful eye, and then he hand-paints or hand-etches his signature on each piece.