Helaine Schneider

I have been sculpting the figure in clay for the last 9 years. My work started out very classical and has changed quite a bit over the years. I started out focused on the figure itself, anatomy and form taking precedent over meaning. While my desire to sculpt the figure has remained consistent over the years each piece is now a part of a story.

I used to draw caricatures and one of the exercises we did to help us focus on the uniqueness in people was to draw a caricature of a person, then we would draw a caricature of the caricature and so on. Each time we put the previous drawing out of sight and would continue until there were about 7 drawings. Then we would compare the first drawing to the last and it was always astonishing to see the difference. This is what I am doing with my sculptures.

I start with an idea that has to do with what I observe and think about a lot. Then I begin a process in which I simplify the concept until I have a clear visual of how to communicate the essence and uniqueness of the idea in a simple way. I am happy to share the stories when someone asks although I enjoy hearing other people’s impressions of the pieces.

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