I am fortunate to have inherited a measure of my father’s talent. He was a machinist, mostly self-taught. He could make anything out of metal. His workbench at the back of the garage, dense with tools and machines (many made by him) always smelled wonderfully of steel and machine oil. Curled steel shavings lay on the bench and concrete floor, challenging bare feet. I grew up in a world of metal.
I inherited his Polish trait of doggedness and resistance. For a very long time I avoided making bas-reliefs. “Sculpture doesn’t confuse me” I thought, and then I painted for several years. Every medium tried lacked suppleness. Painting presented a babble of unknown languages. Printmaking offered mine-fields of technical hazards. Drawing resisted topography.
Bas-relief provides my father’s patience, his powers of study and criticism, and his skill with metal and tools. I’m challenged and at ease.