ST. LOUIS — It isn’t a stretch to say that some dog owners treat their pets like people.
Wentzville artist Steve Jones takes the idea of humanizing dogs to whole new level with his unique sculptures.
“Each one is handmade,” he told 5 On Your Side.
The dogs he makes are unlike any breed you’ve ever seen.
“Want to ride that edge between creepy and cute,” he said.
He does that in two ways. The realistic eyes seem to follow the viewer.
“I try to get my pieces to look at you,” he said.
Jones also uses old porcelain denture teeth in their mouths.
“Give the dogs a little more human factor,” he explained.
The oddly humorous looking clay creates had some critics questioning his love for dogs.
“I’ve had people come in my booth or shows of mine and say, ‘You don’t even have a dog, you don’t like dogs, I can tell,’” he said.
But Jones does own a standard poodle. He enjoys the reactions he gets from people seeing his works.
“One of my favorite parts,” he said. “I think if you can get somebody to have a physical response to what you’re doing then your art has a certain power to it.”
There is a challenge to moving people emotionally. The challenge is finding ways to keep his art fresh.
“A new approach but still has the feel of the stuff I’ve done. That is a nonstop mental battle,” Jones explained.
He seems to be winning the battle. After all, he’s doing what he went to art school to do.
“You’re going into massive debt so that you have 15 hours a day to just come up with the crazy stuff you can come up with,” he said.
The people who like Jones’ crazy stuff seem to not be able to get enough of it.
“I have a lot of orders. So crazy busy,” he said.
He didn’t foresee his dogs with human features would fetch such a high demand.
“Better, maybe better than I hoped,” he said.
While Jones’ artwork is taking off, he hasn’t quit his day job as a middle school teacher though.
If you would like to see more of his works, visit his website.