It is evening. We have done what we could do to prepare for the storm. I thought I would try to get more work done before we lose electricity. Here are a few more pictures from the foundry today. Some are at different stages of patination.
If you notice Miguel is tickling the bottom of Jenna’s foot with a paintbrush.
Turns out that September 12 is Jenna’s birthday. I am so glad the bronze is finished on her birthday. here is a picture of the final piece. Also , as they are putting the patina on the piece they will squirt the bronze down. The wet metal gives you the idea of what the piece will look like with its final polish on it. I thought it was so funny to see Miguel squirt Jenna’s head. I thought I could hear her laugh and at one point I am sure those legs were kicking!
The Hathaway sculpture also was worked on. After sandblasting the sculpture, we worked on the patina. I asked the foundry man to darken Dick’s glasses. I am so glad that these two are done. Now we must pray that they will be o.k. during the high winds of Hurricane Ike.
I guess I never had an example of what giving blood can do. It can make a baby giggle, and dance!
My client, in case you have forgotten about this commission, I’ll post another picture here
My client posted this short audio.
In it she describes the fight her little baby went through with childhood leukemia, and just how her receiving blood made a difference. Jenna passed away not long ago and I have created this sculpture that will sit at her grave site. If you have not thought about giving blood, this short audio may just change your mind. When you do give blood, maybe you will have a vision of a little baby, kicking his/her feet up in a dance, just like Jenna.
When I was at the foundry last week I had hoped to see Jenna. “She is in the dip room” said Miguel. The lights are usually off in there so I figured she was taking a nap and did not want to disturb her. Being that Dick was in pieces was difficult enough. I yearn to see everything back together the way they should be.
My apprentice has been diligently working on a second wax of Jenna for me. I had hoped to get that completed and together to have it ready for my meeting today. But Alas she sat there in pieces.
As stated I prepared for a meeting with a potential new client. I hope the job comes through. It is a sweet story and will be a fun commission. The studio was all clean- that is about the only time it gets clean. Once the new projects begin it is back to the mess.
My daughter’s boyfriend, is now fiance ( he proposed in a photo booth at the 59 diner, on Thursday, after asking the parents for her hand in marriage. The 59 diner photo booth is a perfect place for a person into photography ). Bill stayed in the studio while visiting last week. My son asked, “Does it freak you out sleeping in there?” I’m glad it did not. It does make my son a little weary, don’t know if it is the sculptures or because after the sculptures are done there are a lot of body parts. You see I can reuse the clay, so the clay that was used on Dick Hathaway and Jeanna has been used on Patsy, Lucas, and others. Lots of creative energy in that clay. But I have to get the clay off of the pieces. Right now Dick Hathaway is piled, in pieces in the corner. My apprentices will help take the clay off after he is complete.
After the week-long visit, the kids are gone, and the big meeting is over. Wish I could take time to sit and be still, but there is still a lot of work to do in the studio and office. I will post more photographs of the sculptures soon.
My daughter used to love playing in boxes when she was little. That is the feeling that I get with this picture that I quickly snapped before loading Jenna into the van to go to the foundry. I have her taped in so there is no chance of her little roses coming off of her dress. Her little wings, and the hand now with a butterfly secured to her finger are in another box. It is up to the foundry now!
I have a note on the box that says, “please bead blast” When the sculpture is in complete it is usually sand blasted before the patina is added. Not many people use the bead blast but I’ll tell you it makes a difference. How to describe it… softer, yummy, translucent? I really don’t know how to describe it. Not long ago I was at a foundry and they were boasting about a sand that they use. I think it was some sort of Oklahoma sand. I am such a tactile person, I immediately asked, “may I touch it?” The moment my fingers touched it I was reminded of the only other time I “felt” what they beadblast with. I thought is was interesting that my fingers had a memory.
I still have Jenna wax two in the studio. My goal is to get her together before the end of the month for display. I have several clients coming to view my work, and it would be nice to have her there. Thank god for apprentices!
When I am not sculpting I love to garden. There is so much that needs to be done, and I do hope to get the pond finished in the next few weeks. Something that has trailed on for years. “I am going to order my stone, I am going to order my stone.” This is a mantra I must continue.
I decided to widen the pond, yes, they told me that this would happen years ago when I built it. They said I would continue to add. I’m also making a bog, and taking out many other plants in my yard to open it up a bit. What a lot of work. I sometimes wish I had someone to help, but my only companions is the foster dog Sam who chased the bullfrog from the plants that I pulled out of the old bog. It was so funny the two of them went around the pond and then right over the bridge!
It is so hot very hot outside in the Texas weather that when I need a break I come in and work on the wax of Jenna, and listen to the bible on tape. I’m supposed to be facilitating a Sunday school class on “read the bible in 90 days.” The facilitator should keep up, and with my busy schedule bible on tape is the only way I have been able to do it.
I should run. I’m giving away more plants. That is my favorite thing about gardening. I love posting “I have plants” on the local forums. This time they are even dug up! when the sun finally sets, it will be me and Jenna, oh yes and a shower!
It feels funny not to be in the studio all day and night. I feel very guilty, but I do have clients coming and I need to get the yard spruced up!
Little wings, hands and toes! My apprentice and I will be working on these tonight. I had two waxes poured of Jenna, so there are lots of toes, hands and wings to clean. According to my contract with my client I have the rights to pour up to 9 more of these sculptures. I love the idea that Jenna will make other families happy. I won’t make the other wax Jenna into a bronze until someone has ordered it, but I can put her together and keep her in the corner of my studio to watch over all of the coming and goings! It is a small enough piece that she will hold up quite nicely in wax.
Someone asked. ” I am such a curious person, looking at the molten bronze going into Dick’s shells, just wondering what stops it from seeping out the vents like in the bottom of his shoes and the back of his head?”
The wax is coated with this ceramic shell both inside and out. The vents and sprues either bo back into another portion of the wax or up to the pouring cup. The only real opening is the pour cup. Sometimes a shell will break, and then it is back to pouring another wax, cleaning that wax, dipping it, burning it out and pouring. I have only had that happen once. Oh yes, and once the wrong metal was poured. But I have not had any mishaps like that in a while.
I’ll post photographs later
I missed the deadline, but it has been extended. I have been working diligently on the Jenna mold by myself, no apprentice. When it came to clean up I sure did miss her. Midway I ran out of material, found some old material and had to test it to be sure it would still have the chemical reaction that I needed it to. I’ll bring her to the foundry on Tuesday. I have already decided to have two waxes poured. I’ll clean one to go to metal and the second I’ll put together and keep in the studio. It will be good to have her around.
Now that I have my approval I will begin with the mold of Jenna. Once again this is not for the weak of heart! After all of the time spent creating this perfect sculpture I will need to now divide the sculpture up so that molds and waxes can be made. It is a process that I have done for so many years, it no longer bothers me, as it is just part of the process. The difficulty is that I don’t get to look at her for a while. But, in a few weeks, when I go to the foundry to approve the metal and see her there, I will say, “there you are sweety, I missed you.” I greet them all the same way. As a friend who has been a way for a while.
I took Russo, my now former apprentice, to the foundry to see how the sculpture that she has worked on is coming along, and to explain the foundry process with her. Then it was off to buy materials for the Jenna mold. Russo said if she wasn’t going to go to Washington before her trip home to her country, she would come and help. That was sweet, but to be perfectly honest- I’m looking forward to more alone time with Jenna, and since the foundry does not need the molds until Monday, my pace can slow down considerably!
Now it is off, for evening hours with Jenna.
Baby Jenna has bee approved. Mom said “I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through trying to get this done in the time frame, it’s amazing. Can I just say again how beautiful she is, thanks for all of the tweaking and your patience on the whole process, she just came together perfectly,absolutely love it. can’t wait to have her home.”
Keep watching to see her created into a beautiful bronze sculpture!