Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Stars 2011

I wanted to post few photographs of my Christmas stars!  Made of wet clay, baked, stained and sealed, gilded, and shined, I thought they turned out beautifully! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sculpture Presentation for the DUP

Home again after a quick trip to Salt Lake City to make a presentation to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.  I was invited to come, bring my sculptures, and speak about my work in Northern Utah.  It was a joy for me because I'm always happy to share my passion.  I hauled up 7 maquette-sized sculptures, and showed slides of my five monuments in St. George.  Thank you, LeeAnne Whitaker, (photo)!  It was fun to meet a distant cousin, Mindy.  And great to see Shaunna Whitaker (photo).  Special thank you to Laurel Simonsen for the photographs.   I claim you all for my friends and family!  The women of the DUP were gracious and welcoming and interested.  I enjoyed it very much.  Thank you for the invitation, ladies!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Adventures in Wet Clay

Today was a first for me! I am teaching a small sculpture class in my studio, using wet clay. We are memorizing and sculpting the skull and first 7 vertebrae. Isn't that a great October class! Next week we will memorize and lay the muscles over the top of the bones. The following week we will add features; the last week will be finishing and preparing the bust to dry to be kilned. Fun! A finished bust, complete with everything, except a brain. . . :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sculpture Presentation in the schools

Thank you to Monte Vista Grade School in the Salt Lake City area for inviting me to present my sculpture to a few of their classes.  I have a great love for these children, particularly my two grandchildren, Makayla and Perry.  The name of the bronze piece is, "The World is Mine".  It was on its way from the foundry to a competition.  There was a window of opportunity to show and tell, so I did! 

"The World is Mine",  24x17x17", is available through Authentique Gallery in St. George, Utah.
Sitting on top of a world filled with unlimited wonders, a boy and a girl sit back to back, engrossed in their study. Through learning about this world, the potential for these children is infinite. My mother would not let us, her children declare that we were bored.  “You cannot be bored! Only boring people are bored!  You could live a hundred lifetimes and never do the same thing twice.  There is more here in this earth to learn about and enjoy than you ever could.”  She also taught that the Lord would never create a world that was inadequate for His purposes.  This sculpture is for the miracle of the creation of the earth, and my mother’s teachings.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finishing the Standing Angel

As this clay hardens, I am finishing details.  It is a lot of fun to be working in this new medium.  One more day is all I have before it will be too hard to work.  I see some changes that will make me like it better, but small enough that the viewer might not notice. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Angel #2, Standing

Just started Angel #2, Standing.  I'm enjoying working in wet clay.  Usually I work in oil based clay which is built around an armature, and is good only for making a mold around, and then finishing in bronze.  Wet clay is water based.  The walls of the sculpture will be carved to be a consistent width; when it dries completely it will be fired in a kiln.  It may be glazed, or oil painted to finish.  These angels will be a one-of-a-kind sculpture - no additional casts after the one and only. 

Finished Angel 1 (Kneeling)

Today I finished this angel and started the next one.  She is drying, getting ready to be fired.  Sweet face.  Attitude of gentle reverence, supplication, "Thy will be done". 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 2 Angel

Today was day 2 on my wet clay angel.   Here are the updated photos.  We'll be playing with grandchildren this weekend, so the next update will be Monday or Tuesday...  I'm having fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Work

It's been a long time since I sculpted in wet clay.  I'm working on a seated angel.  So I'm having to figure out how to hollow out the innards to allow everything to dry evenly.  I am posting photographs of day one:  armature made of a pipe fitting and newspapers, blocking in of large shapes to establish composition, size, scale, etc.  She will be prettier as I work it out.  She will not be nude by the way, but the proportions have to be right before clothing is added. Tonight I am contemplating wings with feathers. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Follow my friend, Marcelo Vignali

Marcelo has been a good friend for years.  It is always great to see what he is working on.  This is his blog site, and you will be glad to see it.  He has a powerful talent, an amazing work ethic, and a wide and deep spirit.  We could learn a lot from him - in fact I have.  And have deep philosophical discussions about life while we are learning.  We have spent many hours sharing life drawing class.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci

Thank you my artist friends for posting:
"Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art." Leonardo da Vinci
This wonderful quote might be stated oppositely,                     "Where the spirit works with the hand, there is art."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Commission

I'm loving what I am in the middle of creating right now.  It's a very large bas relief with religious themes.  It is surrounded by a large picture frame with the top carved off and replaced with a Gothic arch.  Nice.  I tell you this because it is a long term project. 

And in the mean time, a got a phone call for a piece that must be done by Christmas!  I will be making an angel - with wings!  I will be using wet clay so it will be fired and be a one of a kind piece.  I'm very excited about doing this, and a little bit hesitant too.  I am used to oil based clay that uses armatures, and molds and bronze.  This will be a new experience.  Wet clay is sculpted, then hollowed out to dry, and then fired. So the design will be different from working in oil base clay.  So - working on it in my head for a while.  Not too modern and stylized.  Not too many out-flung pieces that become delicate.  Not too baroque.  Not too mourning and sad.  Standing?  Sitting?  I see it with face and hands turned up.  I'm excited to see what this will be!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm in! I'm in!

Well, after a hiatus, a busy summer, and a lost password, my blog has relented, forgiven, and allowed me in!  Yay!  My first news for today is I have a new web site that I am very proud of.  Thanks to the genius and the generosity of Matt Mangus!  Go to to see it.  Yes, that is Annette dash, because Annette dot was not available.  There is lots to see.  This blog will contain the day to day updates, new projects and random thoughts.  Thank you for checking in.  I'm off to the studio! 

Friday, January 21, 2011


Working in sculpture is like working in any art form in one respect.  All artists start with large shapes and then refine to ever smaller shapes.  The large shapes of this sculpture are done.  I spent today measuring stars and stripes.  Working 10 to 12 hours every day this week has left me with mashed hands, aching shoulders, and trembling forearms.  Thank goodness for Naproxin Sodium, Acetaminophen,  Ibuprofen, and Aspirin!  I have a hard deadline around the corner - and I swear these days are getting shorter.  But I am a happy woman and having a ball.  More pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Project

I've had a few questions from you about this sculpture that I am working on.  "With Liberty and Justice for All" is a bas relief bronze sculpture.  It is a commission for a new building here in Saint George, the Washington County Justice Center.  60" tall and 30" wide, this flag is hanging vertically and waving in the wind.  It will be raised on a two-foot base.  At the top of the bronze piece are the words, "With Liberty", with a life size bird sitting on the finial.  At the bottom of the piece it will say, "And Justice for All."  Lighted and landscaped, it will be placed outside the front door and replace having a cloth flag going up and down each day.  The date of the dedication is mid-March.  The worry for me is getting the clay finished and to the foundry in time for them to do their magic.  I will explain later the foundry process.  I took the day off for my hands today to recover from yesterday.  Tomorrow - onward and upward!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Transformation from sculpting in styrofoam to sculpting in clay.

Today was a big day.  I planned on taking three days to lay a clay base over the styrofoam armature.  Because I had great volunteers, it got done in just one fabulous day. Roxanne and Bruce, with husband Stan, with an occasional helpful word from son Joshua.  Thank you for a long and productive day.  It is fun to watch this piece develop.  From here on it, it is simply perfecting and finishing, so there won't be such big jumps in its appearance.  Two weeks until it must be delivered to the foundry.  And the count down begins. . . .

Check out the gallery of what I did today at this link!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The start of a large sculpture

Today I spent about 10 hours happily sculpting in the studio.  When I am starting something new, it begins with a styrofoam armature because clay does not support itself.  Styrofoam doesn't sound too bad, but what it really means is lots of injuries.  Knife, blow torch, and a hot glue gun can cause a lot of damage.  Somehow it doesn't matter.  When Stan came home he rescued me from "the zone" and we grabbed a salad for dinner.  Whew. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Adventures

Here I am, kicking and screaming as my son Joshua and his wife Misty are pulling me into the 21st Century.  A blog?  Really?  Okay, here we go!  I am learning more than I might want to learn, but I know I will love it after I know how to do it.  Mostly I feel like I am talking to myself, and will be astonished if anyone else actually tunes in to my musings.