In 2020 The City of Pasadena, Texas decided to build a new courthouse. The Mayor, Mr. Jeff Wagner, told me that one of the most important things that he wanted included in the new design was a sculpture of Lady Justice for the pediment on the front of the building. I was very
excited about this new project and we discussed many things like using aluminum versus bronze and other design options like a relief or a free standing sculpture. I created several drawings for them to look at and to help them to decide what they wanted. The art work of a municipal building is an important statement. It immediately tells a visitor something about the values and personality of the city.
They eventually settled on the drawing I did of Lady Justice surrounded by leaves.
The Lady Justice sculpture was originally supposed to be flat up again the wall of the courthouse inside the “V” of the pediment. I wanted her to be a very deep relief, almost free standing, which in the long run turned out to be a good idea and I will explain why later In the narrative. To work on a relief I start by creating a “ palette” that I can work on , in this case I used two doors that I reinforced in the back with stainless steel flat bar to keep it from bending in half if we needed to move it.
I must build up the body of the sculpture and I do this with aluminum wire and spray foam. I like spray foam because I can add or subtract as I need to. After I have the base outline in foam I will start adding the plasticine. I am constantly checking and rechecking the proportions to make sure that I am on track. I keep a tape measure by my side and I have drawn some check points onto the boards. The anatomical dimensions I use are the classic 8 heads tall. I have the sketch taped up next to me to help me keep on track. You can see some of the aluminum wire for her legs here.
Here is Lady Justice all finished in plasticine except for her scales. She is ready for me to make the mold.
After we had almost finished Lady Justice the contractors on the building told me that the space in the pediment for the sculpture was now too small to fit her. Here I am looking at the space. We had to come up with another idea. We decided to bring her forward of the pediment and to add a back to her so that she could be free standing.
Here I am trying to “free form” a back for her, which is very hard to do because the wax is difficult to work in and she was already taken apart to make the mold. We are currently working on finishing her with the back on and should have her done for the New Year.