Every occupation must get its share of standard (sometimes annoying) questions. I know in the sign business, any time someone would stand behind me while I was working, they would inevitably exclaim, “You spelled it wrong!” and sometimes they were right! But, nonetheless, I would try my best to keep in mind that it was all in the name of humor, although it did get old after almost 30 years.
Currently at the Richard Stravitz Sculpture Studio in Virginia Beach, VA, there are three of us working on life size clay sculptures of a young woman and her two young sons sitting on a park bench. The trio is out on a sunny afternoon and the mom has fallen asleep while reading a book. The youngest boy wants to surprise her and wake her up by tickling her nose with a dandelion. His brother is all for it and is egging him on.
Our models were Joy, Wyatt and Jordan Thompson. When we started the piece, the boys were two years younger and quite a bit smaller than they are now, so we have had to make some changes. We also have changed our plan for their clothing, shoes, body positions, etc. so that has taken up extra time.
This is not a commissioned piece, which means there is no deadline. How does that work? Well, not real well. We seem to have put it on a back burner many times to attack other projects, so we have now been tackling it for over two years! We attempt to keep track of our hours in the studio but it is definitely a challenge. So here we are, still chugging along, every month saying this is our month to finish. As I write this, this is our month to finish. Really!
We will complete the clay, cut it apart and pack it up to take it to the foundry where it will go through the many stages of being cast into bronze through the Lost Wax Process. That in itself will take months. We hope to have the finished bronze sculpture back in our studio by spring to have it on display. (Stay tuned for future locations). In the meantime, someone will see it and undoubtedly ask, “How long did that take you, Mr. Stravitz?”