The Subject’s Clothes Make A Huge Difference

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon specializes in sculpting deceased loved ones.

Last residency in April of 2006 I spent a great deal of time trying to find Dick.  I met his step daughter Nancy and introduced myself. I asked her for photographs and tried to impress the importance of finding Dick’s clothes.  Someone said I could find the most modest of clothes and that would work, but for me it would lack something, they would not be Dick’s.  I think of each time I have received articles of clothing from the families that commission me.  Examining the clothes has always been an important part of the commission process.  The moments I spent with Patsy’s Dress and shoes, and Lucas’ shorts, shirt and sneakers, help me to“feel” something that somehow is translated into the clay.

The element of a person’s clothing also give me a concrete item to work from when I am trying to pull something from the abstract.  I know how long a leg is by the length of the pants.  With Patsy’s dress I was able to figure out measurements on her face and body from the space between the buttons on her dress.
I could compare this to photographs of her with the same dress and know her proportions.  Ah, to have Dicks’ clothes and a photograph of him in those clothes; that would be the ultimate.

I have noticed that often the sculpture seems to grow from the feet upward.  I can copy a shoe in clay exactly and then move on through the sculpture. Here is a picture is of the newsboy sculpture shoe, I added real brads to the clay and shoelaces.

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