My Sculpture Process
These many-faceted sculptures are powerful images of female torsos. They are constructed and deconstructed with multiple body parts (breasts) that reflect the body in movement.
The bronze sculptures can be placed equally well inside and out doors. They are particularly effective within a garden. The bronze is cast using the lost wax method. The individual parts are then assembled and welded in place.
The sculptures can easily withstand the most extreme weather conditions. They are left unwaxed, so that the patina, or coloring will undergo subtle changes that in time will add to their beauty.
Sensuous, voluptuous, muscular are a few words that describe these works of art, both large and small. A nail or bolt in a wall stud easily supports the sculptures designed for a wall.
Whatever the size or scale, they are a commanding presence in any setting.
Photo: Mary Buck Young
LA DIVA Process
HOW LA DIVAS CAME ABOUT
Being presented with the opportunity to have a public sculpture installed, I realized that it was essential that I modify the figurative images that I employed in my bronze sculptures. I am aware of how hysterical some viewers become when face with genitalia in a public place.
I also knew that the scale of the sculpture had to be large in order to really register. These requirements made using the lost wax process (for bronze sculpture) extremely expensive and time consuming. Since I am still devoted to expressing the female torso, I made simplified shapes of women dancing in long flowing skirts, which harked back to a series I did in bronze of skirted figures with exposed breasts in a small scale.
Deciding that steel would be a good metal to use, I located Orsolini’s Welding and Fabricating Co. which fortunately was located very close to my studio. They agreed to work with me and placed my drawings in a computer. This was connected to a machine that would cut the forms with a minimal waste of metal, which kept costs down. I decided the figures would be twelve-feet high, painted fire engine red, and titled LA DIVA 1, 2, and 3.
Under my direction, Orsolini’s workman fabricated my sculpture. It was a blast to be able to tell them what I wanted and watch them do things that were beyond my physical ability.
It was very exciting to see small drawings transferred to twelve-foot figures. To top it all I had them twist long strips of steel into curves which were welded to the tops of the sculpture. These –to me — symbolize celebrating the whole process. I thought of it like crepe paper decorating a party room. I wanted to advertise the joy and excitement I experienced making the sculptures.
I always work in series. I cannot do just one or two of something. I am drawn to explore other possibilities using the same elements.
That is why I made a series using a twelve-inch models for the figure. This time I did some welding myself and all the twisting of the steel strips. I never worked so hard in my life. These — in a sense — are moquettes. After adding the twisted strips of celebration they are about twenty inches tall, also painted fire engine red and called Ladies in Red. They are also numbered for identification purposes.