Ernie was born in Glendale Arizona at the end of the Great Depression and was raised on a farm. He has been artistically inspired since childhood and the years of his life have been sprinkled with bits and pieces of artwork since grammar school. His first ceramic sculpture, “Man with a Hole in the Head”, was done in 1960 in an Army crafts studio. This was the beginning of his love for working with clay.
Having completed military service, his first formal art education began in 1964 at Shasta College in Redding California in a beginners ceramics class where he produced several ceramic sculptures.
His next formal education in the arts was in 1989 at the College of Marin Sculpture Studio in Kentfield California. This provided him with an opportunity to create several bronze pieces. These turned out to be very labor intensive because he likes smooth surfaces. He also produced many ceramic sculptures in these classes. One of his last class projects was a life-size sculpture titled “Skate-R-Die”, which was intended to be a quick and easy project made of styrofoam, but took two years to complete.
He also attended several ceramics classes that re-directed his energies towards water sculpture. The ceramic water sculptures eventually led him to using ferrocement, which was the medium for most of his work for the next ten years. He also experimented with bamboo and natural stone in ferrocement.
Some of his ceramic pieces were entered in Marin Arts Association and Marin Arts Council (California) shows on multiple occasions previous to 1994.
From 1994 most of his work was done in ferrocement with the objective of creating thin-sectioned open pieces that play with water, light and sound.
In 2010 he decided to return to working with bronze and designed and built a micro bronze casting foundry-in-a-box. His latest bronze pieces are the result of this endeavor, but he also continues to work with ferrocement.
Each Series is shown in reverse chronological order and includes his major work.
The Bronze Series earlier pieces were cast in the College of Marin foundry, Kentfiled CA. The later pieces were cast in his Micro-foundry-in-a-box, dating from 2010 and later.
The Tutorial Series is composed of various tutorials in several formats, including videos, of processes and equipment he has developed during the process of creating his art.
The Relic Series are paintings, and this is the story behind them: Ernie was doing yardwork for an old man and was given some Agapantha plants. When dividing the plants he found an interesting relic among the roots and showed it to Diana, who ran it through the wash and framed it - Relic #1.
On returning to the old man's place he explained that he had found this interesting cloth relic in the Agapantha roots. The old man was an accomplished oil painter and said that it was one of his paint rags that got lost in the yard and he indicated where he kept the rags. Ernie asked if he could have the rags and the artist agreed, with the stipulation that he himself remain anonymous.