Commissioning a Custom Sculpture Portrait
Commissioning a portrait is a wonderful way to capture a child’s innocence, memorialize a loved one or celebrate a Milestone. My goal is to capture not only the physical likeness of the subject but the essence of one’s soul. Your complete satisfaction is most important. I will send photos once the sculpture is in process to receive your feedback. This is a collaboration and the more information you provide the better I get to know the subject.
If possible, we will meet in person for a consultation and a photo session, which is covered in the price.
While having a client available for a live sitting is ideal, I realize this is not always practical, or possible. Since we often rely heavily on photographs to create a likeness the best results can be obtained by following these guidelines if you are the one taking the photographs:
Take photos with good natural lighting against a neutral/solid background.
Stand back 15-20 feet and use zoom for closeups to eliminate distortion.
Take photographs from the following positions around the head: Front, Profile (both sides), Back, ¾ views (in-between the front and profile views) and one angled up and down at your subject from the front.
A subtle, closed mouth smile and relaxed expression are best. Unless a child is the subject in which case we take any expressions we can get!
I consider memorializing a loved the highest honor bestowed upon me. In this case obtaining as many relevant photos from as many different views is best. We will work with what is available.
Once the photos are obtained, it will take 4-8 weeks to complete the sculpting process. And another 2-3 weeks to complete the drying process. At that time, the sculpture will be placed in the kiln and fired to establish a permanent sculpture.
Fired Clay: A one of a kind Portrait is obtained with a Kiln fired ceramic Head. The finish can either be a cold finish which is hand painted to imitate a bronze head. Or, it may be best to simply highlight the natural clay color (white, terra cotta, or beige).
Cast Bronze: Another option is to have a mold made of the clay portrait. This could be duplicated many times over in Bronze or other materials.
Prices very considerably depending on size and material.
I am fortunate enough to own three of Katie Bensky’s pieces. I have two consigned bust of my children. These were done when my kids were 13 years old (bar/bat mitzvah age), and another piece I fell in love with just a year or so ago. After seeing the exact likeness and attention to detail Katie put into the bust's (even including the necklace my daughter was wearing at the time), I knew Bensky was a talented artist. It is no surprise I purchased an approximately 19x 24” size head that was part of a series she called Broken Open.
Katie personalized the piece by photographing my eyes and sculpting those into the piece. In addition, Katie added some important symbols meaningful to my husband and I.
This was her idea. She incorporated them into the side which make them unnoticeable to the common eye. Brilliant. I had it framed for my entry. It is a stunning, unique piece of art that reflects meaning as much as beauty. It has also been a great conversation piece.
I found it incredibly easy to communicate with Katie. She makes the process run smoothly. Katie listens carefully and asks questions; making decisions effortless. She keeps in contact, sending photos a long the way. My husband and I were truly overwhelmed with Katie’s work. Both the busts and Broken Open are more meaningful to us than the pieces of art which merely fill a space on a table or hang on the wall. We are very pleased with our investments. I actually smile when I see these meaningful works of art.
“In 2016 my wife and I traveled to Havana for pleasure. We were inspired by the people who seemed to have a deep sense of caring for one another, especially couples, despite the obvious hardships of daily life.We described this to Katie via text and email and asked her to take a commission for a piece that would aptly reflect the caring and devotion under the Carribean sun.
What Katie produced was absolutely spot on and the caring for one another in the subtle way the forms embrace and the use of the umbrella is genius. My wife and I could not be happier with the piece and are so thankful to Katie for sharing her talent with us.”