Artists Explore New Art Medium

Sue Beatrice and Andy Gertler with their newly crafted cardboard sculpture.
(Photos courtesy of All Natural Arts)

Former Sea Cliff residents Andy Gertler and Sue Beatrice crafted a lion and lioness sculpture out of cardboard. This was the first time they developed a complete and structured sculpture from cardboard.

Gertler specialized in the ephemeral arts and has worked with various materials.

“I was a professional sand sculptor, and ice carver for over 25 years,” Gertler stated.

Beatrice was involved in the toy industry as a sculptor for about 30 years. She has worked for industries such as Disney, and Warner Bros. Over time together, they have collaborated their techniques and taken on new mediums.

“It helped us merge techniques that we both had from varied types of products that we’ve worked on in the past,” Beatrice said. “It was interesting finding ways to blend that. He comes from a background where he does enormous monumental pieces and I’ve done micro-miniatures. So it’s interesting how we’ve learned to work on all scales that way.”

This miniature piece was crafted by Sue Beatrice, and is titled “Rain.” She wanted to see how far she could push the illusion of depth in her work.

As part of Beatrice’s miniature works, she crafts various designs and scenes within pocket watches. For some time, Gertler hosted the travel channel show Sand Masters.

Due to the physical labor of Gertler’s sand sculptures, they wanted to discover a new medium that could be done at home or within their shops. This eventually led to their curiosity of using cardboard. According to Beatrice, using this material also allowed them to create art that was “clean, safe and environmentally friendly” by using recycled cardboard.

Prior to touching the material, they dedicated time to planning the image of their sculpture.

“We spent a lot of time researching and collecting reference images. We were looking at African tapestries for the base to decide the exact composition. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it before we even touch the material,” Beatrice stated.

After completing their extensive research, the building process would start from the center and be worked on outward. The skulls of the lion and lioness were made first, then the musculature details around the skulls. Then the fur was added. This sculpture is strong and sturdy due to the small piece of wood used within the base for stability. Other than the little amount of wood, the whole sculpture is made from cardboard.

“That’s the beauty of cardboard. It’s a very pliable material. We are actually amazed with what we can do,” Gertler said.

They plan on continuing to work with cardboard to create more sculptures.

“Our plan now is to maybe make 10 to 12 of these sculptures,” Gertler said.

“When the pieces are done, we are hoping to get them into a gallery or a traveling show,” Beatrice added.

The next cardboard sculpture will be a life-sized baby elephant. They are also interested in sharing how to craft cardboard sculptures through a patreon page they plan on starting.

To view more of their work, visit and follow their All Natural Arts page on Facebook.

Leave a Reply