Virginia Abbott is a nationally recognized sculptor whose current work addresses variety of environmental issues. She is a member of the prestigious National Sculpture Society and she is a fellow resident artist at The Banana Factory, an arts and education center located in Bethlehem, PA.
I’ve watched her clay sculptures come to life as she adds a bit of clay here, and a bit of clay there, and then I stand in awe at seeing the final result cast in bronze. I’ve seen her create amazing miniature brass and silver statues via the lost wax method – carving the detail into a hard block of wax with the end of an old dental tool that has been heated with an alcohol lamp. Her most whimsical sculptural creations are created with cast paper made entirely from post consumer pulp, which is pressed into molds from her original designs.
I gave Virginia some of our Decopatch paper to play with. (Exaclair distributes Decopatch in the US) Decopatch decorative papers are made in France and are especially created for the art of decoupage – a form of collage which covers an object with colorful torn papers.
These are simple cardboard boxes which she covered with Decopatch paper (using Elmer’s glue as an adhesive) and then embellished with some of her cast paper creations, colorful ribbons, and beads.
Virginia commented that she was pleasantly surprised at how well the paper handled. Since it’s very thin, she thought it would crinkle and curl like wrapping paper but it did not. I think these gift/keepsake boxes are a hit!
A visitor looks at one of Virginia’s mixed media creations.
When you look at her cast paper masks from the inside, the eyes seem to follow you…
The is the inside of a mask.
Another mixed media creation.
Part of a larger piece.
Painted mask – part of a larger piece.
Another painted mask.
This is an example of a found object sculpture – a class that Virginia teaches at The Banana Factory.
Tools for working with clay.
Making cast paper from paper egg cartons.
Mona Lisa watches the dancing couple.
Another inside-out mask.
How the previous mask was attached. This was part of a collaborative project entitled “WE 2012”.
Cast paper sculpture.
More clay tools.
Another inside out mask.
Virginia with her sculptural Mona Lisa.