Finishing Work: Young, Old, Broken, Whole

I’ve been working with Alyson Stanfield’s Artist Conspiracy group for the past few months. June’s theme was Completion. It also just so happened that the American Woman Artists organization is hosting it’s annual show and the deadline is fast approaching. These two things have been the kick-in-the-pants that I’ve needed to finish a project that’s been in the works for years. 

Young, Old, Broken, Whole

This sculpture started on the armature that I used for the St. Joseph maquette. It was a Greek flute player in 2004. I used the same model that I used for St. Joseph and his name is still on the armature board! The flute player was close to being done, but just didn’t work for me. So, he sat.

A few years later, I cut off most of his limbs and changed the flute player into a soldier injured in conflict. When I moved, he went under a plastic bag, and stored for many more years in the garage. Only a few years later, we moved to Pennsylvania, and the sculpture ended up in my basement. In a creative fit one random day, he became a she.

There are a lot of aspects of this work that are incongruous. From behind she looks more like a he, more muscular than from the front.  She is powerful and strong.

She is both broken and strong. Her body looks as if it’s been through the ravages of pregnancy and age. Her breasts are swollen; is she still nursing? Her face is young, serene, beautiful. She is all these things: she is broken, ravaged, beautiful, powerful, nourishing, strong, peaceful, troubled.

Now that the work is finished in clay, I have to make a mold and pour a cast to have a truly finished work. Stay tuned…


A figurative sculptor for over 20 years, Sarah tells monumental stories in clay, bronze, and stone.


  1. Tammy Judd Jenny on July 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Beautiful! You might enjoy looking at larger-than-life figurative ceramic sculptures by Tip Toland. On her website there is one (2010) that has both male/female parts. Here’s a link if you’re interested

  2. hempelstudios on July 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Fascinating! Thanks for the link.

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