I hope you have found this newsletter informative. If you have any artist in your network of family and friends who would like to know about my process, please do not hesitate to pass this along or contact me.

All the best,


Each step of the process, moving from concept to completion, connected me on a personal level to this piece of art. It is this connection that helps transform the clay into living images that has become a three dimensional story.

If you read Parts One and Two you are up to date on how we got to Part Three, the sculpting phase. If you missed them clicks on the tab on the Home Page

To sculpt this piece, an interior and exterior armature was created for each figure. The armature helps support the weight of the water base clay as it is sculpted. As the figure moved toward completion, parts of the exterior armature were removed allowing for finished detailing. Finally, when the figures were completed, the last piece of exterior support was removed as the sculpture was placed into the kiln to air dry and be fired to 1,920 degrees.

Capturing a Client's Passion in Original Art - Part 3 

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Behind the Scene:
Two Vision Sessions - One Midnight Sketch - One Maquette - Three Photo Sessions - Twenty-nine Sculpting Sessions - Two Sculpture Firings - Four Coloring Sessions

What a great journey it has been to create this piece of art that will help tell Doctors Melaura Tomaino and Edward Miguel, creators and operators of Port View Preparatory schools, amazing story about their work with K-22 students with severe autism. How, with a simple slogan, “Student first, disability second”, they move their students from the security of being wrapped in a blanket to performing on a stage in front of family and friends, all while providing an environment of connection.

Each figure has been moving and emotional as the clay was transformed into a likeness of the students. I can only hope I have done them justice.

There is always a level of anxiety when you fire your work that has taken hours to create. Will it crack, explode, shrink to where parts won’t fit together… fortunately none of this occurred!

Once the firing was completed, the figures were wire brushed and steel filed to remove any unwanted fired clay particles. The sculptures were then attached to the base, and arms reconnected. The entire piece was now ready for coloring.

Because of the complexity of this piece, Zack, the singer was completed first and fired. Prior to firing, his left arm was removed to become part of the sculpting of Wendy, the girl in the chair. Zack’s right arm and hand holding Wendy’s left hand would start the connection between the students.

Once Wendy was close to completion, Carlos, the boy wrapped in the blanket, was sculpted so Wendy’s right arm and hand could provide the final connection between all three students. To sculpt their arms and hands, three fork like exterior armatures were made to hold the arms in place.

Once Wendy and Carlos were finished, the arms were separated from the bodies. Zack and Carlos were then removed from the sculpting pedestal and Wendy was completed by sculpting her chair. Wendy and Carlos were then placed in the kiln for drying and firing.

Prior to coloring, I invited Melaura over to take a look at the sculpture. It was the first time she had seen anything more than pictures – she was moved to tears.

For the color palate, I chose the colors of autism; yellow, red, and blue. Using antique gold for the yellow base color, the other colors were then layered over the top creating depth and the unique and rich color pattern you see.