Morbidly Beautiful

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We talk with talented artist, sculptor, and entrepreneur Tony Owen about his custom steel sculptures inspired by his love of horror and science fiction.

The Movie Workshop is an online Etsy shop run by Tony Owen who creates custom-designed steel sculptures based on movies, games, tv and anime — specializing in horror and sci-fi. I had the opportunity to ask Tony a few questions about how he got into steel sculpture making, creating themes and styles, and his most popular designs.


Tony Owen

1. How did you first get started making steel sculptures?

I first started making small pieces for my two sons when they were younger. They liked comic books, Sci Fi movies and are also massive horror fans. (As a good father should, I left it until they were old enough…you know, 12). It was my two sons who told me I should give making sculptures and mini movie props a try. I’m really glad I did, as I love to create these pieces and hope one day to do this full time.

2. You specialize in horror Sci-fi and comics. Why did you choose these as your main themes?

 Well, that’s easy. I am a huge Sci Fi, comic book and horror fan. And growing up in the 70s and 80s was a great time for horror and sci fi. It’s the idea that everything you see is a physical piece — from the aliens, monsters and spaceships, to the weapons and scenery. It still amazes me today.

3. A lot of your pieces are incredibly detailed. How long does it take you to complete a piece?

 It depends. It can be 6 to 8 hours for maybe one of my Halloween pieces and up to a week or more for an ABC Warrior sculpture or Terminator arm. I think sometimes a lot of people don’t realize the amount of work and materials that go into some of my pieces. They just see the price and think, wow, that’s expensive. As it is at the moment, I just cover my costs.

4. How do you decide on the themes and styles for each new design?

Ideas just come to me. It’s strange as most of the time I can see the piece in my mind before I have made it. They change from piece to piece, as each one is made to order. And sometimes I have new ideas. So they are all individual in their own way.

5. What is your favorite piece you have created?

I think it’s one of the first multi-part mini movie prop pieces I made, which is my 300 set. This was one of my earliest pieces and just looks so good on display. It’s a challenging piece to make but is also so rewarding.

6. In addition to the main pieces on your website, you also take requests for custom made designs. What is the process working with someone to design and create an original piece?

If I am doing a commissioned piece, I work with the client who tells me their ideas. After this, I will do a few different concept sketches until the client is completely happy. And then I will do a final detailed drawing before starting the one-off piece.

7. Have you had any unusual requests for custom made designs?

Yes, a lot of people ask for full size head and body pieces to wear. But when they realize my pieces are made from stainless steel and find out the cost, they change their mind. I am considering starting to make foam props and masks for Cons and Exhibitions as this seems very popular.

8. What are the most popular items which you have sold on Etsy?

That would be my sculpture based upon the original Halloween movie poster from 1978. It’s a great looking piece and fun to make.

9. Do you have anything else which you are currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few new ideas a Texas Chainsaw Massacre piece, a new idea for a Friday the 13th piece, and a few others when I find the time between working.

You can follow The Movie Workshop on Twitter @Workshopmovie and check out his current items for sale at the online Etsy store here:

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