Stepping Out

Sculpting Norma’s boots.

I love that this sculpture of Norma is starting with her feet.  Whenever I create a sculpture I divide it up into pieces. Feet, hands, head torso- each are first roughed in, then put together and then detailed. I love working with the feet. Feet keep the rhythm they dance in times of celebration and they are raised when the day is done.

For me, right now, the idea of stepping out, moving forward and especially for strong independent women is important.
My personal journey of stepping out is stepping out to hike with other women in my hiking group and stepping out with helping others to learn salsa and bachata at SSQQ dance studio in Houston.

I see Norma as walking towards confidence, no matter what the challenge. I see her walking towards friends, to greet them, embrace them, to care.  Stepping out… shoes are more than just an accessory.

Every piece of a posthumous sculpture is a connection.
For me right now it is the feet, and then I’ll move to her head and hands.

Other updates.

A picture of Kippy the dog sits next to the beginning of a clay torso. 

Along with sculpting of Norma’s feet, we have been preparing to begin the other parts of the sculpture.  We need an armature for the placement of Norma which will be her seat. This was  lovingly created by Johnny Rojas for me. We returned to the area on the East End of Houston, once again, to get a look at what was being done.  It is fitting that Johnny would be helping with the armature. I’m not sure all the details, but Johnny recommended me to someone who I think recommended me to the family for this job. Thanks Johnny for bringing your energy into this project.

Whimsy into art.  The clay that we used in each of the projects is reclaimed from previous projects.  Interns have been busy on the sunny days, laying part of the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, and the feet of the mad Hatter, and the torso of a seeing eye dog for the last project of John Turner all outside on plastic.  The sun melts the clay and the interns reclaim the clay for Norma.  I love that the creative energy of the clay is infused and reused.

Another intern pulled together a very rough armature of Kippy- photos to come.

This is the week I being to absorb all things Norma. It is a strange process sculpting deceased loved ones. I really want alone time with Norma. No interns, no distractions— just Norma and I. But first, the grudging work of getting armatures and clay on those armatures.  All part of the process.  More photos to come.

This is the documentation of Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon who created the Norma Zenteno Sculpture and Kippy for Zenteno Spirit and Barrio Dogs. You can find the process blog for this project at

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