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It’s a long process.


I’m working diligently on getting the small Booker T. Washington ready for the school to approve. We may hold off on casting him because there is an event, and I will need to have something for guests to see at the event. I can bring the clay if I’m careful. Casting a small sculpture like this can take a little while. Remember, this is a limited edition, and you can have one. You can even pre-order one. Buying a small Booker T. Washington can help with the cost of the monumental sculpture. We will get a price on that soon. Contact Dr. Phillips at Booker T Washington High School if you are interested.

Before I can add his jacket, I have to sculpt the folds int he waistcoat. Much of it we will not see, but I can see it. I hate that the hands are these wire stubs, and I can’t wait to move onto the shoes, but for now, he is coming along.
I have to do it. To sculpt the face, I’m going to have to cut off his head.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

February is black history month, and as I always do, I am immersing myself into everything about my subject.  With the Harriet Tubman movie, we have been hearing a lot about her as well.  I also am a hiker, and they have been having some Harriet Tubman hikes in the Texas State Parks. So, I could not help but wonder. Did Harriet Tubman and Booker T. Washington know each other?

Harriet was born in 1822 and died in 1913. She was 90-91.  Booker T. Washington was born 34 years after Tubman, in 1856 and died in 1915. A lot of things happened in 34 years.  As reference, the emancipation proclamation happened in 1863.

I’m sure Harriett had influenced Booker T.  Washington. After all, she was recognize around the world for her accomplishment. Even the queen of England awarded her a medal and gave her a shawl.  My curiosity got the best of me, and I had to stop sculpting and do some research.  How interesting it was to find that Booker T. Washington delivered the oration at the Tubman memorial service. 

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon



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Off with his head! This helps me a great deal. I can turn the image upside down and easily see all sides. The most difficult part is the aging in the photographs of Booker T. Washington.

It is crazy busy in the studio these last two months.

I took a trip to Florida to Tampa to be with the All American Girls Professional Baseball League AAGPBL. If you don’t know the story about this league, check out the movie A League of Their Own. I hung out with many of the original women in the league. Many of these women are in their 90’s The AAGPBLis an incredible part of history. One of the reasons I was there is because the AAGPBL commissioned me to do a sculpture of Penny Marshall. Penny Marshall was the director of the movie A League Of Their Own. She made a difference in the lives of many through making this movie. 

Latin Jazz.
One of the subjects that I have sculpted was honored in the Mayor’s office. She is getting her own day and is one of the first Latin American sculptures in the city of Houston. So, I was able to go to the courthouse and present part of the sculpture- A bronze dog named Kippy. I love this little dog. Then, later on, there was the unveiling of a sculpture of Norma Zenteno. She is a musician who died of cancer, she is loved by many. Her family has been in the entertainment industry for years and really played a part in Latin music in the city of Houston.  They created a movie about the family and presented at the unveiling. Unfortunately Norma won’t be installed for a while, but she is done.

There was a radio interview on KPFT. I also  had a 13-foot tall sculpture install in the North Part of Houston in Generation Park. No dedication set at this time. It is a sculpture of Eve.

It has been a busy two month, and in between all of that I have been working on the small sculpture of Booker T. Washington. Now that all of these are off my plate I can turn my focus onto Booker T. As you can see. I had to cut off his head.

Sculptor/Writer Bridgette Mongeon


Bridgette poses with the clay of the Mad Hatter and a very famous teapot.


Bridgette has worked both traditionally and digitally for a long time. She has said time and again.

In my studio, Alice and her friends have gotten bigger and smaller, not with elixirs and mushrooms but with digital technology.

As an artist, she has had a foot in the digital world and another foot in the fine art field, and created a niche for herself. Her book on 3D tech in fine art was the culmination of a lot of trial and error on her part. In an interview with Women in 3D printing, she said, if she can’t get it out of the computer, it is useless to her. That is where CNC milling and 3D printing come into her studio.

When she was creating the monumental sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea party for Evelyn’s Park in Bellaire, Texas, she wanted to pay tribute to the man who started the technology. After all, it all started with a teapot. She wanted an homage to the man. It had to be at her famous tea party.

You may not know that she hid 150 things in the bronze scene of “Move One Place On.”that is at Evelyn’s park. She did this to encourage literacy. You have to know where they are in the story, as well as in the sculpture. She also hoped to encourage curiosity. Many people have begged her to release the list of 150. She is only doing this through riddle and rhyme on her social media pages. One of the 150 hidden things that she put in the sculpture was in honor of the technology she uses. Do you see it?

Teachers and Students

Here is the riddle

Tech marries clay in Wonderland,
The Hatter steps in and lends a hand.
Not from Texas, but Utah it came.
Not victorian but rather plain.
Because Sandra and Martin liked their tea,
an homage to a man you now do see.

If you don’t know, watch this video. You will learn all about the famous teapot.


Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

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A very rough start.

Though I have a tiny chair, it is easier for me to sculpt this little figure while being able to see all around him. I have to stop and search around the studio. Do you know I have three bins in my studio that are titled “Things that hold other things up.” We refer to that bin often, but instead, I find a teacup that I purchased, thinking I would need it for my large Alice sculpture. It is just about the right size. Now it is a seat for my little Booker T. Washington. My laptop is next to me and can use the photographs of Dr. Phillips in my Google drive, along with those I have in Pinterest to see folds and create his clothes, hands, and shoes. Dr. Phillips could not cross his legs in this same position, and the cut of the clothes from this period are different, so I have to go back and forth between past and present to get precisely what I am after.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon


I must first create a wire armature similar to the ones in the picture. But what size?


With many of my small sculptures, I start with a simple metal armature.  I will put clay on top of this wire armature.  Eventually, you will see that I’ll be reverting to my Alice In Wonderland sculpting days, and it will be “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”  It is just easier to work on a head that is not attached.  I’ll also cut off the hands and the feet.  But first, how big should we make the wire armature? There are lots of proportions that I need to take into consideration.  First, we have the photographs of Dr. Phillips in the chair.  I know the sculpture will be approximately 10 inches tall. I’m very visual. So, I xeroxed down a photograph of Dr. Phillips at 10 inches tall.  I have to be careful here. The image must be taken perpendicular to the subject, or it will change everything. Once there, I used string to see approximately how tall a man would be that is just 10 inches tall when he is seated.  I ran the string from his head through his shoulders. Then I went down to his hips up a leg and down to his feet. Once I had a measurement, I found images of a standing Booker T. Washington. Thank God for the Internet. It makes my job so much easier.

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Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon searched the internet for standing images of Booker T. Washington. She would use these to be able to get the proportions for a small sculpture.

Even though these images are of a Booker T. Washington at different ages, it still helps. I lined them up next to each other. I wanted his navel, head, and feet to align. This would help me with the general proportions of the man.  I also use Pinterest on my projects.  I created a Booker T. Washington  Pinterest page with the images that I found of Booker T.  I will refer to it often. Sometimes so much that I have to cover my lap top with something so clay does not get in the keyboard. You will also notice there are images on my Pinterest that are not of my subject. Sometimes, I’m just looking for clothing, or a fold or something of that nature, and it gets pinned to my Booker T. Pinterest page. I am chomping at the bit to get started. While I’m finishing up other jobs I instruct my assistant to put clay on the wire armature. Now the magic begins!

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Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon begins a Pinterest Page so she can have reference. She uses this along with a Google Drive folder that holds the pictures of the principal.


Proportion is just one thing that Artist Bridgette Mongeon uses in her art that are STEAM related.  There are many types of math in a traditional artist’s studio. Here are some to explore.

What is the Golden Ratio? How have artists used it in their art? has some information on Golden Ratio.


A sample page of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Books. With highlights from sculptor Bridgette Mongeon.

If you want to get really excited, look at the Fibonacci number in nature. When you are looking at these things, it is interesting to know there is something called Sacred Geometry? What does that mean? Where does this term originate?

Do you know other artists who worked with math, proportion in their artwork?
Check out the math in Escher’s work. Here is a video lecture from Gresham College  And another from Oxford Mathematics  on the work of Escher.

Leonardo DaVinci was not only a great artist, but he loved to document things like proportions and science.  Someone took his notebooks and translated them. You can see his original drawings in his notebooks here. You can also see the translations and images in the book called The Notebooks of Leanardo Da Vinci Volume 1 and 2. 

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon


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A tiny replica of the chair.

As we said, we need to make a little sculpture to have something to go big. The entire small sculpture of Booker T. Washington is going to be 10 inches high without a base.  It was the task of Bridgette’s assistant to take every measurement off of the large chair and figure out what proportion she needed to reduce it down.

Bridgette found a great deal of wood from Texas Art and taxed the assistant to replicate the chair. Bridgette knew some modifications would be needed. They would never be able to find the exact size of wood, but that is alright. They will add clay to the wooden chair to make it work.

Teachers and Students
Do you think you could replicate a piece of furniture you have in your school or home? What math would you need to be able to do this? What is the proportion of reduction.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

booker t measurementsFROM THE ARTIST’S STUDIO
The team decide that the artist will make two sculptures. One will be a small table top version of the sculpture. These can be made into limited edition bronzes and may help the team raise additional funds. They can give them to those donating large sums of money or they can sell the outright. Stay tuned for information on this.

The other sculpture is the one for the campus. It will look very similar to the small sculpture but it will be 1 and 1/2 life size and will rest on a pedestal.  Bridgette will also use the small one to help to create the large one.

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon