Sculptures in the Streets III
Mesa, AZ
Thanksgiving 2001 to March 31, 2002
These sculptures lived on Main Street Mesa for four months.  The sculptor is J. Seward Johnson, Jr. who began in the 1960s as a painter.  But he turned to sculpture in 1968 when he decided one-dimensional canvas was too limiting.  His lifesize and lifelike statues illustrate the American way of life, bringing attention to everyday moments that bring pleasure.

The sculptures are made of bronze and weigh from 400 to 1,000 pounds.  It takes him up to two years to complete one statue.  He begins with a small clay model, then brings in a live model from which he sculpts a life-size nude figure out of clay and plastecine materials.

Actual clothes are sewn onto the plaster, then resin is applied to the fabric.  A rubber mold of the figure, clothing and all, is made, and this mold is used to create a wax sculpture.

The wax is covered with a hard ceramic layer.  The wax is then burned out, leaving only the ceramic shell.  Molten bronze is then poured into the ceramic to create the bronze statue.  Finally, a chemical process is used on the surface to give them their colors.