The Process of Sculpting

Using Tried and True Principles

Click the photo to watch the Process of Sculpting video.

To discover what actually goes into the extensive and laborious creation of this art medium, a brief overview of the process of creating fine art bronze statues follows.

A finished sculpture can take up to three to six months to sculpt depending on the scope of the statue. The lost-wax-investment shell casting process can take an additional three to six months, and 13 full time workers and artisans. By combining these all but lost procedures of sculpting from the inside out, with an acutely high attention to detail in both sculpting and casting, Delesprie’s results are World Class, high quality fine art statues.

As a studied anatomist Delesprie states, “If it is not correct on the inside, it cannot possibly be correct on the outside.” This means she undertakes the arduous task of sculpting in the bones and muscle groups before sculpting any exterior skin and clothing. All statues are at one point nude and anatomically correct. Without this process, statues look stiff, lifeless, and void of emotion. As a professionally trained sculptor, employing such techniques as the Baroque Spiral and Privileged Perspective, her works are in a class of their own. These various methods create sculptures that provide stunning 3D imagery from all sides, for viewers to admire and appreciate for generations to come.

This high attention to detail has produced statues of the highest caliber, prized by prominent organizations and celebrities such as the Boeing Corporation, Carnegie Mellon Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Vons Pavilions, Ray Crok (McDonald’s), Jenny Craig and Jimmy Stewart.

Step 1

Delesprie begins the physical work by welding steel in the shape of stick poses that act as a base for the skeletal structure called the armature.

Step 2

After constructing the armature, clay is applied using front and side profiles (silhouettes) of the figure. Delesprie uses this technique exclusively in her commissions and teaching to ensure more accuracy in the finished statues.

Step 3

On top of this frame, she then adds the rib cage, knees, pelvis, shoulders and main bones using clay.

Step 4

Next, she applies the old classical approach by sculpting in clay from the inside out. To do this she blocks in the statue and sculpts in all muscle groups as a nude before sculpting exterior features such as the face, clothing, hands, hair, etc. This time consuming and highly detailed approach breathes life into a statue, creating emotion, movement, and a sense of realness. Sculpting a life-size statue takes at least three months for a child and six months for an adult. Portraitures in a monument are the most time intensive.

Step 5

Once the bones and muscles are added in clay, Delesprie then provides a finer layer of clay and smooth’s by hand to contour the skin.

Step 6

The clothing and all finer details are then added to compliment the figure; ligaments, finger and toe joints, facial features: ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hair. Clothing, drapery, accessories, and found objects complete the detailing.