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Melanie originally trained as a woodcarver and spent several years working on a wide range of projects from church restoration to carving items for National Trust shops. The Desire for a more flexible approach to sculpture that allowed ideas to flow more easily encouraged Melanie to try other materials and techniques. This eventually led to the discovery of Jesmonite which ideally suited these requirements. The development of this innovative technique is creating a lot of interest in her work both locally and further afield.
“My work is strongly influenced by the study of movement. The Challenge is not just to suggest the action of an animal or figure in motion but also to give them a sense of purpose. Sometimes this can be as simple as trying to indicate the intention, the feeling of energy contained in the muscles prior to the realisation of activity”.
Each Sculpture starts as an idea outlined in wire – this is essentially the drawing process and allows the proportions, position and bone structure to be determined. Onto this the layers are built up – suggesting muscles and soft tissue and hair. The layers are usually created using Jesmonite, a coloured acrylic resin with various fibres added to give texture. This part of the procedure is not entirely precise and adds an interesting dimension to the creative process. The possibilities are almost infinite and each piece is unique.
Jesmonite resin is lightweight and strong making it suitable for larger structures and can be used to create sculptures for interiors, gardens and outdoor locations.