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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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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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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The Work at Hand

Currently, at the studio the major work that is happening is a commission for a church south of Pittsburgh. The parish is condensing its ethnic parishes into one congregation, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, after the first American born saint. To honor the heritage of the parishes in the consolidation, five saints will be placed…

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Geneologies

I like to think of the apprenticeship model in terms of geneology. My first mentor in sculpture was Anthony Frudakis, son of Evangelos Frudakis, who studied with Paul Manship (of Prometheus at Rockafeller Center sculpture fame), who also employed one of my favorite sculptors, Gaston Lachaise, in his studio. Manship studied with George Bridgman,whose books…

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