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Art lovers can enhance their environment with fine art sculpture of Georgia Gerber. The Georgia Gerber Catalog offers a comprehensive view of her work, whether for a personal collection or public installation.
Georgia’s catalog is a resource for independent collectors, museum stores, municipal design and other areas of public display. We invite you to browse the catalog and we welcome your inquiries. Please let us know how we can assist you!
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“I like my sculpture to invite an interaction with its audience. This is often meant to be a direct physical interaction, but always I strive to engage the viewer’s imagination. I tend to present an incomplete visual narrative; a story is suggested, a feeling evoked, and the viewers find themselves providing details.” –Georgia Gerber
Georgia sculpts almost every day.
She usually works in “Idaho Buff” – a water-based clay commonly used for pottery. She likes the softness and fluidity of this material, which allows her to work quickly and expressively. It is common that she has two sculptures underway at any time – often a large commissioned piece and a smaller edition piece. She does not like to focus on one sculpture for too long at a sitting, and so moves back and forth between sculptures for fresh perspectives.
Georgia seldom draws or makes models before beginning a piece. Her ability to visualize in three dimensions lets her start right in by piling blocks of clay into the general form. Most sculptures, even the largest ones, are solid clay with minimal armature support. This gives Georgia flexibility in making changes as she proceeds.
Most sculptures start out quickly as she blocks out her vision in rough form. Even a large sculpture may be proportional and recognizable in only a couple of hours. However, from that stage until completion may take two weeks or two months, depending on how she feels about the piece. On the subject of completion, she is fond of saying “Much of art is knowing when to stop”.
Casting – the pouring of molten bronze is the intense centerpiece of the foundry experience
New metal ingots and recycled sprues and gates from previous castings are heated in a furnace by a mixture of propane and forced air to around 2000°F. The metal is contained in a silicon-carbide vessel known as a crucible, which can withstand the intense heat. The crucible we use holds 275 pounds of molten bronze. A typical pour day consists of melting three pots in succession to fill all the molds. We pour about every three to four weeks, depending on demand and the state of other work going on in the foundry.
The heat of the metal is measured with a pyrometer, an electronic thermometer, submersed in the pot. When the correct heat is reached the crucible is plucked out of the furnace by a jib crane and hoist, which bears all the weight and allows access to the molds. A layer of debris, or slag, must be skimmed off the top of the melt before pouring.
Casting is a two-person job, with one person doing the actual pouring and the other stabilizing the holding shank and controlling the hoist to raise and lower the pot as needed. It is possible, though rare, to pour the metal so accurately into the cup hole of the mold that there is no spill over or splashing whatsoever. The occasional perfect pour is a celebrated event.
As the metal fills the mold it makes a sound that rises in pitch as it nears the top. This is always a welcome sign that indicates all has gone well. It is especially welcome if the pourer has gone ahead and started a mold with a questionable amount of metal left in the pot. Generally such gambles are not taken, but if a pour does come up short there is a good possibility it can be completed from the next melt, and the seam line that occurs can be repaired by welding.
Georgia patinas most of her own sculptures
In a strict sense the term “patina” refers to the thin layer of corrosion, usually brown or green, that appears on bronze as a result of natural or artificial oxidation. In the more general use of the term it refers to whatever finish a bronze sculpture ends up with. It is thought by some that the art of patination developed as an attempt to simulate the natural patinas found on ancient bronzes that were found buried or in sunken vessels. It may in fact have been that these bronzes were originally painted or colored in other ways, but the beauty of what nature had done to them encouraged “patinuers” to find ways to artificially cause such effects.
The most common way to patina a bronze is use a variety of chemicals to encourage oxidations of various colors. Generally, the brighter and more intense effects are achieved by heating the bronze first, and applying the chemicals by either brushing or spraying.
Georgia patinas most of her own sculptures. She uses three basic chemicals, which when combined in various strengths, application techniques, and differing heat levels can produce an astounding array of effects. Because any particular effect depends on many variables, individual patinas can vary somewhat from piece to piece even when attempting to replicate a particular look. This is why she tells clients that “You can order any patina you’d like, so long as you take the one you get.” This is mostly in jest, because in reality it is usually possible to create a specific look, though it certainly is true that every piece will have its own unique charm.
The final step in finishing a bronze is the application of wax to the hot metal.
Waxing with the metal hot and expanded makes for a durable finish that can be buffed to a high sheen once the metal cools. Periodic renewal of the wax will enhance the look of a sculpture and protect the stability of the patina. See Maintenance for more details.