Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Artist Inspiration: Sculptor Virginia Abbott tests Decopatch Papers

Stephanie

Virginia Abbott Sculpter

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.

Decopatch Virginia Abbott

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.

Decopatch Virginia Abbott

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.

Decopatch Virginia Abbott

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!

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

A visitor looks at one of Virginia’s mixed media creations.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

When you look at her cast paper masks from the inside, the eyes seem to follow you…

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

The is the inside of a mask.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Another mixed media creation.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Cast paper.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Part of a larger piece.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Painted mask – part of a larger piece.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Another painted mask.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

This is an example of a found object sculpture – a class that Virginia teaches at The Banana Factory.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Tools for working with clay.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Making cast paper from paper egg cartons.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Mona Lisa watches the dancing couple.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Another inside-out mask.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

How the previous mask was attached. This was part of a collaborative project entitled “WE 2012”.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Cast paper sculpture.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

More clay tools.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Another inside out mask.

Sculpter Virginia Abbott

Virginia with her sculptural Mona Lisa.

All photos taken by Stephanie Smith

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