yep, except tweaking great lumps of metal into 'sensitive gesture' is where the skills lie,
only those who 'know' figuration and have had a long term relationship with their medium can make it look so easy.
Its skill that needs to include Awareness of the vision and the effort bit you left out. Until you've worked this way it's impossible to appreciate the work. He's not shitting you with idle (pun intended) blather when he always lists weight. The effort to execute has to be at least in proportion to the vision. Skill is just the tool. But I think you actually get that.