Calvin Ma is a ceramic sculptor who utilizes the action figure form in his sculptural work in order to explore personal struggles with social anxiety. Even as a child, he was reserved and apprehensive, turning to toys to keep him entertained. “There was something about picking up your favorite hero or villain and creating stories and adventures that captivated me,” he has said. “It felt only natural to tap into this childlike sense of exploration and storytelling through my artwork.”

Born and raised in San Francisco, Ma earned his BA in Industrial Arts from the Academy of Art University. He has won numerous awards, including 1st Place at the City of Brea Art Gallery’s ACGA National Clay & Glass Exhibition, and has been represented at more than 40 exhibitions and solo shows.

He lives and works in San Francisco.

Can you describe your artistic process in creating this artwork?

My piece for this show is the Enterprise decorated with aged wood-like textures and patterns, much like the style I use in my other artwork. Before starting the piece, I gathered as much reference material as I could to get an idea of the proportions of the Enterprise. I roughly sketched out on a piece of paper the actual scale I would be working with as a guide and worked off that. The fun part was jumping into the clay and hand-building all the different parts. I work mainly with ceramic, so all my pieces are fired in a kiln, glazed and fired again.

What is your favorite Star Trek series?

Star Trek: The Next Generation is my favorite series because I grew up with it. It was a routine when I was a kid. Get off of school, go home, do some homework, eat dinner then catch some Next Generation on the TV.

What excited you most about the opportunity to get involved in the Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years. project?

I think it’s the idea of actually creating something for the official Star Trek brand that excited me the most. To do it in my own artistic vision was a bonus!

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