How the Studio Got Done, Part I

After nearly a year of searching for a studio in town, I finally decided to work in my own back yard. I have a small cottage with an even smaller one-car garage. Well, it was a one car garage back when cars could fit in a ten-foot wide space. Even my compact Mazda 5 can…

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Gathering and Building

My father is coming out to Pennsylvania this weekend to help me transform an old, ugly garage into a fancy, new studio. We have to secure the foundation, move support beams on the trusses, add more outlets, install two windows and a door, insulate, drywall on the ceiling and paneling on the walls, trim it out, install…

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A Voice in Ramah

This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:18 A Voice in Ramah Sarah Hempel Irani Half-life size, plaster with faux bronze patina, 2008 $6720.00 INTERNET PRICE:  $5,900.00…

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Rejection, Get Up Again

Dear Sarah, Thank you for entering the — Competition 2013. With over three thousand entries in all media, the decisions were difficult to make. The judges met in late March and chose a small group of semifinalists. We are sorry to tell you that your work was not selected by the jury. We hope that you…

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One Shovelful at a Time

Reprinted from my old blog, Nine Tons of Marble, on May 9, 2009. My uncle tells this beautiful parable about achieving a monumental task. Many years ago, he and his young son had to lay a sewer line in the back yard. They had to dig a forty-foot trench by hand, too poor to afford…

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The Story of Hempel Studios, Part IV

The following is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Lutheran Forum Magazine, Winter 2007. It has appeared here in several parts. Read PartI, Part II, and Part III first. This is the final installment. When I was a child, I thought that art was superfluous in the church: mere decoration, a distraction from worship.…

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The Story of Hempel Studios, Part III

The following is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Lutheran Forum Magazine, Winter 2007. It will appear here in several parts. Read Part I and Part II first. With the Virgin Mary out of the studio, I began work on St. Joseph. Initially, finding imagery for St. Joseph was difficult. He is mentioned a mere seven…

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Placeless

I am a person who talks a great deal about Place. Perhaps I’ve read too many Wendell Berry books. Or perhaps I’m on my fifteenth address in thirty-four years. I am placeless. My studio follows my same pattern. I moved into my first outside-of-school studio in 2001 in Frederick, Maryland. It was a tiny space…

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The Story of Hempel Studios, Part II

The following is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Lutheran Forum Magazine, Winter 2007. It will appear here in several parts. Read Part I first. From May 2001 until the following May, we created fourteen four-foot by two-foot multifigure composition bas-reliefs. We collaborated on the design as a whole so that we would have…

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The Story of Hempel Studios, Part I

The following is a reprint of an article that I wrote for Lutheran Forum Magazine, Winter 2007. It will appear here in several parts. The image came to me rather unexpectedly.  I was on an airplane midway between Oslo and Reykjavik, on my way home after spending two glorious weeks visiting a friend in Norway. …

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