As a psychotherapist, I respect the unconsciousness of our lives, and as a portrait and figurative sculptor, I let it lead me when I get into the flow of my work as the hours pass. I often find that the action and movement while sculpting a piece often brings about creative ideas. The idea that I start with will often merge into something totally different.
Sometimes my intellect will come into play, sometimes not, as I try to get into the same position as the model, literally feeling the positioning of my body as the model would his or hers’. I look for the opposing flow of shapes in a model’s body and for the apex in contours, as I shape the form with my hands, often thinking of the degrees of change in a contour as I would the hands of a clock. I utilize a technique that achieves fine detail using very small bits of clay at a time. The sculpture will often be large enough that it will need internal stabilization that will require a wire armature.
When doing a figurative piece, I start using a clay egg and box technique that I apply to the armature. For portrait work, I begin by applying clay to each side of the armature in the shape of a silhouette of the head. Many times I will take fine measurements to try to get as close proportionally to the model or photo as I can regardless of the scale I am working with. All of this often means that I tend to be a slower sculptor than many of my peers, as many of my pieces will take over 50 hours to complete.
Much of my early work has been fired from water-based clay, but I often sculpt with a type of clay that will need to be molded and cast into another medium, either a cold cast resin or a liquid metal such as bronze. The bronzing takes place at a foundry using the lost wax casting process and will take about 3-4 months for the foundry to complete.
I hope that as you touch my finished pieces, you’ll be able to also get a sense of my own tactile process that began far beneath the surface. You can rest assured that it has centered me and brought me great joy.