Q & A Fridays: Commissions

What is a commissioned sculpture and how does the process work?  People are most familiar with art that hangs in galleries. The artists creates the work, brings it to the gallery, the gallery promotes it, and the art is sold in the gallery. The gallery takes a percentage of the sale and the rest is…

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Vocations: Mother & Artist, Learning to be Both

Mother When my daughter arrived here from India in 2009, I was elated beyond measure. I felt powerful, woman, incredible. I was so in love, so captivated, so full of light. Then I spiraled into a deep, black place. Postpartum depression is not just something biological mothers face. On my way down, I saw all the ways…

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Nine Tons of Marble

This weekend in 2004, I imported nine tons of marble from Carrara, Italy. It would become the Virgin Annunciate. Even eight years later, it’s still incredible. ——————- Sarah Hempel Irani, Sculptor www.HempelStudios.com info@hempelstudios.com

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Q & A Friday: Clay to Stone

One of the most frequently asked questions I get in the studio is “how do you get this from clay to stone?” It’s a long answer that usually involves me getting out a diagram, an Italian stone carver, and a math textbook to explain it all. So, I thought that I would try to explain it here…

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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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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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