Georgia Gerber went on her first date with her husband near the end of her graduate work at the University of Washington. “That night I told him I dreamed of having my own studio and foundry in a quiet rural area where I could raise a family and create sculpture,” she says. It’s been 21 years since her dream became a reality, and now Georgia spends her days creating whimsical bronze beings with a very special casting process.
Georgia was raised in Chester County, Pennsylvania and studied sculpture and bronze casting at Bucknell University. It was there that she and her professor William Lazansky invented a new process for producing sculpture that eliminates the need for expensive rubber molds.
The sculptor starts by shaping a figure from water-based clay, which is then split into castable-sized pieces that are used to create negative plaster imprints. The plaster segments are then covered in wax and cast in bronze. Finally, the metal pieces are wielded together, tooled to produce a seamless bronze sculpture and coated with colorful patinas.
As far as Georgia knows this procedure is unique to her foundry on Whidbey Island, WA, which she runs with the assistance of two women artisans and her husband. She produces all of her works there, from small bronze creatures to life-size public sculptures of people and animals.
You can see the tender touch of the artist’s hand in the broad planes and flowing lines of her subjects’ abstracted bodies. She often groups her animals in pairs or trios, emphasizing the way their bodies curve to embrace each other. It’s hard not to reach out and touch their cool, smooth skin, something that Georgia always encourages.
“I like my sculpture to invite an interaction with its audience,” she says. “This is often meant to be a direct physical interaction, but I always strive to engage the viewer’s imagination.” Her public art pieces, which dot the globe from Seattle to Japan, are often placed in the middle of sidewalks where passersby will feel compelled to play with them.
As for Georgia’s smaller works like the ones that populate Waxlander, encountering them is just as much of an imaginative exercise. “I tend to present an incomplete visual narrative,” Georgia explains. “A story is suggested, a feeling evoked, and the viewers find themselves providing details.” For an artist who dreamed up her own foundry, it’s the perfect task.
Come interact with Georgia Gerber’s sculptures at Waxlander Gallery & Sculpture Garden, or browse them online here. You can learn more about the sculptor on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.