In the Beginning was the Word… John 1:1

This clay relief is of a family from Papau New Guinea receiving their first copy of a newly completed bible translation of the bible in their own language. I offered to film the complete process as part of a Giving Tuesday event for Pioneer Bible Translators. You can see the whole film at this link.

They normally host this 4 hour production for fundraising each year and feature 6-8 original music artists. But their request on Instagram was for ‘artists’ who wanted to help. 🙂 I didn’t know they meant music! So I offered.

They sent some photos of families they had worked with and asked me to sculpt a relief. I filmed and sculpted for 70+ hours, uploading the clips each night. I have never finished a sculpture or relief so quickly! It was pretty grueling!

I set mini-goals to reach each evening and took off only 4 nights in the course of two months. After the video production aired, I continued to refine details for the next couple of weeks. There was still so much to do! I poured three casts and am now pouring two more. Three of them will be given to Pioneer Bible Translators.

This was an incredibly rewarding experience as I compiled photos from Papau New Guinea to fill in the blurry background of the photo, and took my relief sculpting skills to new levels! Between my main teacher, Mike Kirby’s instructions for setting up reliefs and carefully defining the planes of every part of the faces and the bodies of the people, to the background techniques, anatomy instruction and fabric drapery class lessons of Thanasi Papostolous, I had all the knowledge and practice required for this project.

My hope is to do at least one ‘fundraiser’ relief for an organization every year. I found the challenge of 3-d sculpting and 2-d drawing to be absolutely engrossing! I pray this sculpture moves hearts and encourages others to support Bible translation for many years to come!

I’m very grateful to the support of Thanasi and Mike and the encouragement of Tye Parks, and my friends and family. But most of all, I just thank the Lord that he brought this project across my path. It has completely changed my artistic goals. I feel I have a real opportunity to do something unique and purposeful with my artistic abilities. Looking forward to the next one!

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