‘Snowflake Doc’ tells stories with his paper artistry

     (AAPNW-MI) – English Statesman and writer Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) said regarding preparing for the future, “The secret to success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” Retired physician Thomas Clark of Ann Arbor, Michigan has proven Disraeli words with his ‘Snowflake Art’ that includes an inside story about each design.

     Clark learned the artistry on how to fold paper to make snowflakes from Loretta Ennis, a secretary at the University Health Service nearly 30 years ago. His physician training enabled him to unlock his creativity as he soon discovered he could cut pictures into the designs. First he develops the designs and then uses special jeweled screwdrivers to cut away at the paper. Although this process demands a lot of concentration, he mostly enjoys drawing the scenes.

     Over the years, he was named “Doctor Snowflake” in the art world for his works as well as what it takes to create them. His snowflakes require not only a delicate hand to carve the intricate paper cuts, but also a very gentle and patient personality.

     Doctor Snowflake’s works cover a range of different scenes from Biblical, Poetic, Christmas and the Zodiac signs. He also has several books in print; in fact, eleven of them ranging from his own artworks, face cards and trees, sonnets, including stories like from his “The Night before Christmas in Snowflakes” book.

     Clark received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1964, and practiced at the University Health Service from 1967-1993, however his appreciation for art was instilled in him at a very young age by the exposure to the original oil paintings that filled his Grand Rapids, Michigan’s grandparent’s home.

      While in college, he studied clay modeling taught by Leonard Jungwirth and drawing with John deMartelly. He continued to broaden his knowledge of art with more summer classes and elective studies in water color painting, life drawing, and medical illustration taught by William Lewis and Gerald Hodge.

     Since 1987, he has had annual exhibits throughout the Midwest, including Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma and Illinois. His snowflakes have been featured in numerous local and metro major newspapers, and Sports Illustrated magazine.

     “My fire was lit early,” Clark said. “And this, (snowflake designs) was sort of my calling to be an artist.”

     Snowflakes are the incoming sea tides that weave their patterns over the sandy shores, they are like fingerprints – no two alike.

Thomas Clark photo AAPJ edited, but sourced to Robert Ramey

Published by on December 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, In-Out Design Section, Paint Box Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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