Featured Artist Elaine Witten

Created through the “lost wax” process of bronze casting, artist Elaine Witten’s expressive and realistic sculptures capture the essence and energy of their subjects. Learn more about this artist and her work by visiting her website.

 

“Courtship Strut” Bronze on Vermont Schist, 15.5” x 23” x 13.5” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Courtship Strut” Bronze on Vermont Schist, 15.5” x 23” x 13.5”

 

The need to create is an important part of who I am. As a child I was sent to Saturday morning art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and it was there that I was introduced to great art. The subjects of my realistic bronze sculptures reflect my life interests. The body of my work is a synthesis of my love of nature, appreciation and knowledge of the human body, and my love of music.

 

“Personal Best” Bronze on Greek White Marble, 20.5” x 24.5” x 15.5” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Personal Best” Bronze on Greek White Marble, 20.5” x 24.5” x 15.5”

 

My artistic goals are to create beautiful form, incorporate noteworthy negative spaces both within parts of the sculpture as well as space surrounding the silhouette, and to portray characteristic movements. Initially, I construct an armature of plumbing parts and wire to support my clay model.

 

“The Wild Run” Bronze on Champlain Black Marble, 21” x 24” x 12”by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Wild Run” Bronze on Champlain Black Marble, 21” x 24” x 12”

 

I love the direct contact of warm clay in my hands as I shape it, like magic, into my vision. I frequently use live models – figurative, horse, llama, goat, bird and even spawning salmon, always trying to capture a pose with the illusion of movement.

 

“Opus I” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 8.5” x 25.5” x 9.5” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Opus I” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 8.5” x 25.5” x 9.5”

 

I cast the completed clay model, in close collaboration with my local foundry, using the ancient “lost wax” method. First, a plaster mold with latex lining (“mother mold”) is formed around the clay. When the clay is removed, hot wax is poured into the mold. We remove the wax from the mold, giving me an exact replica of my original clay. I correct seams made by the mold and any imperfections in this model. The bronze will be cast from this positive.

 

“Extended Bow” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 13” x 20” x 6” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Extended Bow” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 13” x 20” x 6”

 

A second mold of ceramic shell is formed around the wax. The wax is then burned out of this mold in a kiln, hence, the term “lost wax.” Pouring in hot liquid bronze, I thrill each time I see the flow of this gorgeous, luminous, orange molten metal. Usually, the next day I crack of the ceramic shell with hammer, free the bronze sculpture and clean it with dremel tools. Finally, I heat the bronze with a blow torch, and stipple on a patina with a brush.

 

“Vermont Morgan” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 14” x 15.75” x 9” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Vermont Morgan” Bronze on Black Vermont Granite, 14” x 15.75” x 9”

 

Depending on the chemical, its strength, and the amount of heat applied to the bronze, I will get various patina colors ranging from greens, blues, browns, black and white. I then usually mount my bronze on indigenous marble or granite bases.

 

“Jazz Man” Clay on Wire Armature (Work in Progress), 9” x 21” x 8” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Jazz Man” Clay on Wire Armature (Work in Progress), 9” x 21” x 8”

 

My current work in progress is “Jazz Man,” an illusion of movement from the twist and lean of his body as well as his raised tapping foot. Although sculpture is my primary medium, I am also a painter. The same model was the genesis of this sculpture and the sax player in my recent oil, “Playing the Blues.”

 

“Playing the Blues” Oil on Linen, 24” x 30” by artist Elaine Witten. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Playing the Blues” Oil on Linen, 24” x 30”

 

I also derive huge satisfaction from teaching sculpture workshops on a regular basis. I am keeping alive knowledge of the elements of sculpture accrued over many years and that the ancient “lost wax” process for my students to carry forward.

 

Artist Elaine Witten invites you to follow her on Facebook.

 

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Comments

  1. Beautiful, I love Art and design.

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