17”l x 19.75”w x 8.5”h

Inspired Grace
The continental US is home to approximately 208 species of orchids, and surprisingly, 46 of those are native to Minnesota. The centerpiece of my exhibition next February at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 2020 Flower Show is “Grace,” inspired by the state flower of Minnesota, the rare and beautiful Showy Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid (Cypripedium reginae.)

“Grace” is composed of two separately cast crystal parts that nestle together to visually form one flower. My greatest challenge lay in the creation of a sculpture that combines the real orchid’s delicate nature with necessary structural integrity. The hand of nature is far more magical than mine, so I wrestled with the creation of the slipper, needing to build and cast it twice before achieving a closely representational labellum.

Six months in the making, “Grace” is the largest and most complicated sculpture I have dared to create. The plaster mold for the petals alone weighed more than one hundred pounds and required a hydraulic lift to position in my kiln. I pushed myself to complete something extraordinary for this show. To honor the important work being done at the Arb for the benefit of us all, I present “Grace”.