Laura Testé


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Laura Testé

Laura Testé is best known as an American sculptor whose bronzes are identified with the female form in dance. Laura uses the lost wax method to cast her bronze sculptures in Michigan. Laura was raised in a small Ohio town where ordinary people pursued the extraordinary. Her neighbors walked on the moon or collected Emmy nominations. With this borderless worldview, she earned degrees in both design and engineering from Stanford University in California. California became a recurring source of inspiration. Laura attributes her respect for female athleticism to the Stanford Rowing Team. That experience gave her an unshakable appreciation for the grace and energy of the human anatomy. She captures lithesome limb figures in mid-swirl with a bloom of fabric or a quiet gesture. She pays tribute to several pillars of self-reliance. 

 

Ekphrasis = Art Poetry

The meaning of art is a subject to be explored between the viewers and the artworks. Laura assigns her own narrative to each sculpture through the form of an accompanying poem

 

Artist Statement: 

I offer agile figurative bronzes to be the siren call, the crescendo cymbal crash, or the quiet concluding couplet. I am immersed in the beauty of the female form. The flow of muscle, bone, and material is a confluence of elegance and power.  As a former collegiate athlete, I appreciate the attention, rigor, and control required of dancers and athletes.  

 

Education:

University of Michigan MBA  - 2000

Standford University - BS Product Design - 1991 

Fine Art Sculpture Centre, MI - 2016

Chautauqua Institution, NY - 2004

Cranbrook Art Institute, MI - 1999

Laura was recently selected to be one of nine sculptors featured in the 2019 exhibition L'Association des Peintres et Sculpteurs de Saint Tropez, France. 

 

Process: 

The 3-6 month process of lost bronze casting is lengthy, complex, and laborious. 

1. Clay - Create a clay model with a strong internal armature.

2. Mold - Section the clay then create a silicone mold for each piece. The original clay is destroyed in the process.

3. Wax - Melt wax then pour it in the mold, remove once cooled and reassemble to make a wax model. 

4. Mold 2 - Section the wax, add leads, then create a mold by repeatedly dipping in sand slurry over a ten-day period.  

5. Bronze - Burn out the wax, pour the molten bronze into the sand molds.

6. Hammer & Weld - Remove the sand mold with a hammer, then weld bronze pieces back together. 

7. Patina - Using heat and brush on ingredients for the patina.  

 

In the end, the artist is left with a beautiful bronze.

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