Since 2017 I have been filling my time between making small maquettes and large monuments by creating portrait plaques. This all started when I got an email from a woman in Southern California who lost her son and wanted to honor him with a bronze plaque. She had seen some of my reliefs on the internet and had decided to reach out to me. And so began my journey creating bronze portrait plaques.
Although I had been sculpting in relief for many years I had only started to really “get it” in 2011 when I began pushing the boundaries with what I thought possible with relief. Most of this new discovery was playing with techniques I’d learned from when I was learning painting in art school and applying them to relief sculpting.
When sculpting in relief you are dealing with such a flat surface that the differences between 1/16 of an inch or less can make or break a likeness. There needs to be a steady hand and a critical eye and for the 6-8 hours it takes me to sculpt a likeness I am fully focused on the task at hand. No phone calls, no internet time, very little interruptions and full throttle on the challenging task at hand.
There are many little tips that one day I will teach to those interested in learning. But, in short, good relief work is done from practice, practice, practice.