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James LaCasse 


      My sculpture strives to express the human experience in its myriad of forms through the use of museum quality bronze castings.  I have always had an affinity for art, beginning with my formative years (as I think most children do). I dabbled in a painting class here and a drawing class there.  But, these classes always seemed to be constrained to two-dimensional art.  It was not until after a four year detour through business school that I received that "spark" ... that illumination of inspiration.  A brief encounter with a crude teracotta project a friend was working on was that "one" glimpse of inspiration that completely changed the direction of my life.  The next day I bought some clay and have been creating sculptures since.  Through these twenty plus years of producing sculptures, I have worked to refine my skills and continued to master aspects in the art of sculpting.  This path has followed a more unstructured education.  Books on technique and sculpture in general were read.  I became a self-described "foundry rat" constantly hanging around a local bronze casting foundry in Denver.  I enrolled in a trade school to learn the different techiques of welding and metal manipulation.  I studied anatomy at the Art Students Leaugue.  I learned patination (the coloration of bronze) from one of the premier patina artists nationally.  And I occasionally gleaned some insights from short sessions with other sculptors.  I am still constantly seeking to improve on technique and ideas, projects and materials ... all in an effort to produce the most high quality, expressive and intriguing sculpture that I can create.




     My process of translating my ideas from thought to form usually flows through a certain evolution.  An inspiration or idea is made into a small clay "sketch" called a maquette. Upon reflection, I sometimes make changes to the form and it evolves with my thoughts and feelings.  When I feel the small clay sketch succesfully conveys my idea, I start a larger scale model of the piece.  I make a larger wire frame, called an armature, on which I press clay around the wire while playing with the shape, form, texture, and line.  I refine these qualities with both tools and my hands until I reach a point where I feel that the sculpture is the most expressive.  It is then that the "lost wax" process is followed.  This is a system that takes the clay form through a series of steps resulting in a bronze casting.  The final step in the creative process is realized with the application of the patina.  Heat applied acids, chemicals and pigments are applied to the surface of the bronze creating colors and textures that compliment the shapes and the sculpture as a whole.   It is this quality of coloration, shape, form, texture and line that breathes life into the original inspiration, and allows me to share my ideas with others in sculptural form.