There are so many cool things happening around town all the time, but we don't always take advantage of them. Sometimes it is because of cost, other times, just pure laziness.
This week, I heard about an old friend who has an art studio. He just finished an amazing sculpture and he opened his studio to the public so people could view the art before it was bronzed. I thought this would be a great experience for the children.
It was amazing. I went to high school with Scott Streadbeck. I found him on FB a while back, but I'm not sure if I made the connection that he lived here in Utah. He is an amazing sculptor. He always liked art and he found he had a knack for clay. He has done many projects, but this is a special piece commissioned by the city of Lehi to put at the entrance of a new infant cemetery. You can read a little about it here.
I was actually not aware of the statue's purpose at first. I just thought it would be really neat for the kids to see the studio. Also, I wanted to catch up with Scott. It has been almost two decades. (We doth get old.) It was very touching to be there and realize there were many families visiting to see the art that would be outside a place sacred to them and their families.
There were so many interesting things to learn about the whole process. On one table there were several very rudimentary sculptures. Scott put together several ideas for what the statue should look like. Being an infant cemetery, he eventually settled on a family with an infant. Then, he put together two 16 inch models to show to the city. They voted and chose the one they liked best. Even from there, he still changed a few things.
The original sculpture had a couple holding an infant, but they both had their eyes open. As Scott brought models in, every woman who picked up a doll or child to cuddle would automatically close her eyes. He thought that would give a good feel to the final product.
He has several different versions around the studio. He has smaller ones and one done in marble. (Marble and something else, but I can't remember what.) He plans to make a 12 inch version that families can purchase and put in their homes.
The girls got to touch some clay and feel the consistency. It felt rather hard to me, but that is good when you are working on detail, Scott said. He actually will put clay in the fridge sometimes to make sure it is nice and firm. Other times, he uses a heater to warm the clay so it is more malleable.
The bronzing process is quite an ordeal. The machine will only accept smaller pieces, so with a statue that size, Scott will have to cut it into pieces. I can't even imagine. He showed us a smaller version that had been chopped up to be bronzed. It was mostly the same, but you could tell where pieces had been hacked. Artists can save the clay and reshape it back to the original piece sometimes, but it depends on the amount of damage and the desire to redo the work.
There were many clay and bronze pieces in the studio. June liked a large Spartan soldier and some of the animal pieces, like the turtles and dolphins. Robyn liked a woman holding a flag, with her hair blowing in the wind. I really liked the boys running to the pool. Many of the girls liked the big statue we came to see. I took a picture of artist and his creation.
What an amazing talent. And how nice of him to share his time and studio. It was a very fun night with the kids.