A Path Taken

How I Landed Here

My journey to this point in my art profession took an unusual path.  Not one I chose, not one I intended, and not one I am familiar with for another artist.  Eons ago while at University for the second stretch (I love love learning) I was studying business and had to take a class, any class in the arts.  Fair enough, I chose 3d design.  One semester turned into the rest of my life.  Because I had taken all the classes I needed except what I might major in, I just about spent the rest of that education in that space.  Quickly I became the lab tech, fixing equipment, teaching whenever I could, spending as much time as possible absorbing every process available. Moving from cardboard to wood to plaster for abstract sculptural design and then clay.  Working in clay creating figurative work, molding and then casting the work in plaster, resin, mixed media but mostly bronze.

It is in that studio where I learned the entire process of bronze casting.  Not a simple nor quick process, but it is magical!  If you ever get a chance to watch a pour, take the opportunity.  Bronze casting poured at around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit is a swirling orangish white gold I have never seen even in the most gorgeous sunsets.  A lot of wonderful work came out of that university studio, which is now closed.  And time moved on.

Early on at the university, I started working in the private studio of the head professor of that department. What an education I have had for the last 20 plus years!  An education that has covered classical music, football, opera, and foreign accents.  Oh, and we also made a lot of sculpture.  Primarily large monumental figurative sculptures for cities, parks, hospitals and government agencies.  The scale of the work was usually six feet to 15 feet.  Every part of the projects I was involved in, from beginning small competition pieces to the full size commissioned sculptures.  These works take months to bring to fruition, from initial design to clay to molding to bronze and then the public unveilings.   It is really something to see the reaction of the public to something that just months before was still being worked out in clay.

The works created in that studio do have my name on the back but are not mine.  Projects this large are put together with committees, contracts, lawyers, however, my name was not in the contracts.  So, I have had a dilemma.  I need this very kind of experience to compete for large projects, I have the experience by the truckload.  I just cannot use it when applying for projects.  Talking with a mastermind group I have recently joined, I told my story.  The response, was “wow! We don’t know what to say”.  Yeah, that’s what I said.  So, I am writing about this experience.  Would I change these past years?  No, not quite.  The education I have received could not have been bought anywhere on earth. The friendships are lifetime and heart bound.

However, I do have public projects of my own in state parks and city gardens as well as in private collections and a museum!  There is more to come!  Some things will stay the same and some things will change.  That my friends is part of the beauty of the fine art world.

What if anything would any of us change about our experiences?

Posted by

Sculptor, painter, business owner, canoeist, hiker, tree hugger, can’t be stiller.

2 thoughts on “A Path Taken

  1. Cara,
    I kind of thought you were very well trained by seeing the few pieces you have made. I had no idea though of the depth of experience you had. You are correct that it cannot be bought with money, and it’s evident you paid for yours with hard work, dedication and love.
    Thanks for this story.
    Kind Regards,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We should take a short road trip to see some of the public works I have a hand in when you are here next. You are an amazing artist yourself, thank you Steve!


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