My Sweet Spot

I had a model out to the studio today for the first time in what feels like forever. It was, and usually is, challenging to position him in just the right way so that his figure had balance, tension, and was not too uncomfortable for. Once we identified the perfect pose, I moved the armature to match the model. Then came the good part. I plugged in some jazz and pulled out a tray of clay. Once my hands hit the clay and wrapped it around the armature, I knew I had hit my sweet spot.

Do you know what I mean by “sweet spot?” Sometimes I get so discouraged by all the prepatory work that goes into making a sculpture. I even built a studio, but since my dad and I worked together on it, the walls drip with love. We’ve prepped clay, built sculpture stands, swept the floor, hauled out lumber, cleaned old molds. We’ve put so much work and sweat into this place and this thing that some days, many days, I’ve wondered if it’s worth it at all.

Then I work with a model and I hit that zone with the clay, looking, looking, moving, pressing clay onto the armature. I carve it away with handmade tools. I talk to myself. I draw in the air, looking for rhythms as I listen to jazz. It’s that place where I feel fully me.
What’s your sweet spot?


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

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