In reference to projects my husband always says "it can be hard to start something and hard to end it." I'm a project oriented person, I guess I would consider myself a mega planner. I probably pay far too much attention to details but, that's how I operate. So I am finally going to get started on how it is that I came to make artisan soaps and other products.
I suppose I have always been an artist although I didn't label myself as one until I began sculpting. I was always creating something, always working with my hands from early on. I liked whatever I tried and I wanted to try everything.
My intention was to go to art school after high school and decided to go to a state university instead to study Psychology. After college I went into finance of all things. I moved from the east coast to Southern California and worked for a Municipal Bond Company. After I had my first child, I became a stay-at-home mom, learned how to cook, bake and make as much as I could from scratch.
When my kids were young I started going to a sculpture studio in Culver City, it was in an old dusty airplane hanger with an eclectic group of artists and a very talented mentor. We had live models come in and I learned how to see things in planes. I loved sculpture because it was so forgiving and no matter how loose I'd try to be I couldn't help myself and every detail had to be in there. Finishing some sculptures is when I began labeling myself an artist. Some of my sculptures
Presenting Grandmaster HelioGracie with a sculpture of himself. He posed for me at age 92. And below - My original sculpture of #HelioGracie in a wax based clay then cast in bronze with a patina showing his red belt.
Rener and Ryron Gracie wanted to surprise their friend #LyotoMachida with a sculpture as I had done for their grandfather. Lyoto graciously did a photo shoot for me but didn't know what it was for. Here are some photos of the process.
It begins with top clockwise, some sample photos of Lyoto kicking, I took hundreds, 360 degrees around him at different heights, yes it was a workout for him; then my sculpture on an armature in wax based clay; after a mold was made a red wax was poured into the mold and from here I fix details that were lost in the first mold; the red wax is part of a process called the lost wax - this explains lost wax https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost-wax_casting; after the bronze is poured it get's cleaned up from tiny bits left of the last mold; then off to get some patina; and voila, he's mounted and ready to go.
This is a 3/4 life size reclining pose on the left is while I was sculpting water based clay (yes it took a LOT of clay!) and on the right cast in bronze.
Below are snippets of the process, after a few photo shoots and photos in the round I began with a wax based clay on an armature, constantly measuring, adjusting, adding removing; once my sculpture was complete (although I never feel that I complete projects but rather I reach a point where I am willing to abandon them); she goes to the foundry where I did do a lost wax process; 2nd row, this bright shiny piece is how she comes out - fun fact, bronze is composed of approx 90% co. After she is cleaned up, bismuth nitrate is applied with a paint brush and a large flame is applied.
and below is a traditional colored patina
a few more quick studies in clay, fired and painted