Signing Off On A Sculpture

Just be sure that everything is the way it should be before the sculpture goes into the bronze process. After that, changes can cost a considerable amount of money. In fact, I have my clients sign off on the project at the final sitting, before the sculpture goes to the foundry.

The fear of capturing the expression of someone and investing your time and money into a process with the results being unsure is something to think about. If you have reviewed the artist’s work and credentials and like the artists work, if you have discussed your fears and expectations and provided the artist with the resources that they need, and if you know the artists process includes your input, then your can be assured that the sculpture will be something you like. With all of that said you must remember, it is art, and even my contract states…

“It is here by understood and agreed that it may not be possible to create the Work exactly as described herein or as depicted in preliminary designs, and the Artist shall only be bound to use her best aesthetic judgment to create the Work according to the style and intent of the design, The artist is hereby free to make design modifications as the work progresses.”

I point this out because there was one commission, a posthumous commission where it was impossible to please the client. I have written about this commission in my book “Bringing to Life the Spirit of the Deceased—A Sculptor’s Journey” and at first I was very irritated with the entire process. But my feelings soon changed. You see I was the 3rd or 4th artist that this man came to. He was trying to capture the image of his deceased wife. Though he said I did the best job in capturing a likeness, the commission never came to a finalization. It was after much prayer and consideration that I believe I understood why this happened.
First I think the man was trying to get the artists to create something that just could not be created. In a way I think he wanted his wife back and expected the sculpture to somehow fulfill this need. The second reason was because I have noticed with posthumous sculpture that the emotion, the healing the grieving does not happen when the client comes for the approval and sees this three dimensional loved one, on the contrary it happens when the sculpture is placed, complete and there is nothing left for the client to do but grieve. Until that time the client can busy themselves with the process. The commission gives them something else to do before having nothing else but loss.

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