"Man? I am more than a man! I am the Silver Surfer! I am the Herald of Galactus!"
- The Silver Surfer's first words spoken in the Marvel Universe.
The brainchild of Jack Kirby, the Silver Surfer made his first appearance in 1966, in the issue of The Fantastic Four #48. The story goes that Kirby wanted to introduce a new character (without first consulting with Stan Lee) but also got tired of drawing space ships and decided to use a flying surfboard. (Kirby must have really hated drawing space ships because in the same issue, he literally cut and pasted stock photos of them!) Stan Lee liked Kirby's addition and later developed the back story of how Norrin Radd from Zen-La made his cursed sacrifice to become the Silver Surfer and slave to Galactus, the devourer of worlds. My motivation for sculpting the Silver Surfer was more mundane. I had ordered a couple of pints of Palladium glaze, initially for Batman; however, the glaze tests indicated it was too shiny for the Dark Knight. I immediately thought of the Silver Surfer, but had some reservations since he would need to be standing on his board (up to this point, all my subjects are either kneeling or sitting down). I settled on a pose that kept the center of gravity low and fairly balanced. Everything was fine until I absentmindedly picked him up from his torso after bisque firing. The weight of his board and base was too much for his ankles (which are also hollow) and he snapped off. The detachment points were however clean enough to apply some bisque cement, and he held enough in place for me to apply glaze. Unfortunately, the cement melted off during glaze firing and he came apart at the ankles inside the kiln, glaze-fusing him to the board and base sideways, and almost damaging the coils in the process. I was able to salvage the piece using a diamond tipped saw, repair putty, and acrylic paint. Most artists would have taken a hammer to it, but the Palladium glaze was just too glorious and mesmerizing as one can see from the pics below. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.
Wet clay model