"A Welcome Conversation" cast bronze, larger than life
"Kate Gleason" cast bronze, larger than life
The College of Engineering
These are normally based off live models or photographs or even Don Sottile's imagination. Sculptures are primarily bronze or carved wood.
The original image is created in oil-based clay called plasticine, which is often created over a steel armature. Once the final clay is finished, plaster molds are made, sometimes in segments that give a negative of the original positive.
Wax is cast into the plaster mold that reproduces the original image again. The casting wax is finished and gated (like plumbing) providing channels for molten bronze.
The wax positive then has an investment mold cast around it. This mold with wax is placed in a kiln and the wax is burned out, giving access channels where the wax once was for the bronze to be poured into mold.
After the bronze cools, the investment is broken away and the gating cut off. In some cases, Don welds cast parts together then finishes the surfaces, grinding and polishing.
Large outdoor pieces are typically done in bronze and exist for the ages. Interior pieces can often be done in wood. Don's past work includes larger than life-size statues such as Abe Lincoln and Kate Gleason, The Madonna and child and other famous subjects.
"Petra" carved basswood, clear lacquer, 17" high
"Our Lady of Walsingham" carved solid mahagany, life size
Seneca Falls, NY