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Commission Work: A Little Whale?

Commission Work:  Wire-Sculpted Clay ElementEvery now and then, a client walks into my booth or asks to meet me with a very unusual piece. I have wire sculpted all kinds of interesting elements for people.

Not sure what this one is … but the owner said it was a gift and she thought it looked like a little whale. Can you see it? See the eye with a circle around it? Imagine a little blow hole at the top. It appeared to be made of air-dried clay, so it was lightweight and a little brittle. I had to be very careful not to chip the fragile edges … or drop it!

I studied the piece while talking to the owner, listening to what she saying and working out in my mind how I could encapsulate it to create a pendant. I could tell, just by the way she held it, even by the way she was breathing, it held great sentimental value for her.

See, I know it is with a deep sense of confidence and faith that you entrust these treasures to me. Sometimes you bring me keepsakes that have lain safe in your jewelry boxes for decades, yet you are willing to release them into my hands. So it is with a profound sense of responsibility that I care for them, wire-sculpt them beautifully, and return them safely to you.

Commission Work: Pre-Sketch of Wire-Sculpted Clay Element

My challenge on this one was how to securely capture the element, protect the edges and keep it from slipping out, without covering too much of its face.

Sometimes I get the vision for how to construct a piece immediately. Other times, it may take some days before a clear picture appears. I don’t usually sketch things on paper. As you can see, it’s difficult to show the dimensionality of wire, to tell what’s in front and what’s behind. I prefer to work off the vision I see in my mind. But I wanted to give her an idea of what I could do with the piece. Here’s the little sketch I drew up for her. That wire crossing diagonally to the left is behind the piece, not in front. See why sketching is a challenge?

But it was wonderful to see her face light up at the prospect.


Commission Work:  Wire-Sculpted Clay Element

Commission Work:  Wire-Sculpted Clay Element

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