When I began graduate work in 1991, I was awarded an assistantship to work in the art department's sculpture lab. One day, I stumbled across some old dusty equiment and asked my instructor about it. A few months later, we were casting bronze weekly and I fell in love with the process.
The yucca sculpture above was carved in wax then cast into bronze. The yucca (Panu'ul in Cahuilla) is an important food and fiber source for the Cahuilla. The Cahuilla Form sculpture to the right is expressing the importance of water to my people.
Above is one example of four "Clan Hearts" that I casted while on a residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Each heart is decorated with a"bandana style" design and represents both tribal clan systems as well as the working class history of my people.
The human heart form was derived from pulling an alginate mold from an enlarged human heart educational model and cast into wax. Using the Lost-Wax Casting Process, the wax models were molded, fired and cast into bronze. Each heart is approximtely 15 inches long and weighs approximtely 30 lbs.