Catalyst Cooks

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Sculpture is a Metaphor March 3, 2010

I promised you back in this post to share a story about how sculpture lessons learned relate to where I am today.

My friend Deb Z invited me to take part in Bronze Buddies- a group of folks who gather on Monday nights at Deb’s studio to create bronze sculpture- and I started back in 2003.  I may still have a box on the shelf at her place, which contains the beginning of many new sculptures that are waiting to be finished.

There are many reasons excuses why I haven’t been to Bronze Buddies in over two years… too much work, too long a drive, too little creativity after long Mondays in the office… I have a good feeling I’ll be called back there soon to bring those sculptures to life. 

One of the biggest reasons I don’t have a major body of work at this point is because of my self-imposed pressure to invent the newest, next biggest thing that hasn’t ever been thought of by anyone else. 

This pressure stymied and stifled me for a couple of years.  Instead of creating sculpture, I went to Bronze Buddies to nurture relationships and make connections.  That was easy and fun!  Sculpting I found intimidating.  I sure did/do appreciate and enjoy Deb’s work, and the work of the other “Buddies.”  I envied how their personalities would manifest in their pieces.

Deb and I talked about this.  She reassured me that her work wasn’t all brand new ideas that had never been tried, but rather an expression of her personal experience, or said another way, variations on themes (that already exist from many generations, centuries of previous art).  That her sculpture was her interpretation of the world.  She described how free she felt when she was creating, whether it is her daily sketch, her wax sculpture, her mold, the bronze result from the foundry, or her sand blasted, patina’d, mounted sculpture.

Setting up my own business, and the environment I create for myself now, are like that too.  There are so many ways to do the same thing, I needn’t worry about doing it “the right way.”  My utter joy and sense of freedom when I struck out on my own make me feel more at home than I have in awhile.  I am creating that experience and choosing how I feel every day.  I have taken control of how I approach this – just as a sculptor molds their work to create a beautiful sculpture.  I hope that this positive vibe will somehow rub off on everyone around me.

My first sculpture (2005) – it can be done!

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5 Responses to “Sculpture is a Metaphor”

  1. Jason Says:

    All creative enterprises best flourish when you shed the self-judgment. 😉

  2. Bill Reynolds Says:

    Hi Jen, just got done reading your blog that was attached to invite you sent about tomorrow night (sorry I won’t be able to make tomorrow). I had not hear about your leaving the big company and it was fun reading your blog, you are so talented. By the way I’m retiring at the end of this month to a life of fishing, golfing and travel. Hope to see you soon and I’ll be up at the lake a lot more this summer so remember when your up that way to give us a call.

    Bill

  3. […] me good wishes as I dive back into sculpture.  For those of you that read this post, you know that I have a tendency to forget that it’s all about creating my own variation on a […]


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