How to Commission a Sculpture

Have you imagined commissioning a sculpture?

Let’s say your family, a church, or organization wants to commission of a work of sculpture, but you have no idea where to begin or how to proceed. Here I will describe the process that I use in my studio.

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You Cannot Succeed Without Failure

It is a mistake to suppose that men [or women] succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done. Samuel Smiles (1812–1904), Scottish author and reformer “You cannot succeed without failure,” or so they say. It is difficult to…

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Making Molds, Part I

I have a troublesome relationship to making molds. I’ve made a few, but I really, really, really don’t like doing it. It’s very technical,  stinky, and messy. It’s a skill that develops over time with much experience, so I feel like a total novice at this. When I lived in Maryland, I relied on the…

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The Work is the Most Important Thing

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in…

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Getting Back into the Rhythm

I just came back from a week-long trip to Michigan. For a mom, a week-long trip is really a three-week trip. It takes a week or so to plan, pack, and get everything ready. It takes another week to do all the laundry, dishes, meal planning, grocery run,  put everything away, and get everyone’s circadian rhythm reset.…

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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…

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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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