” After I had worked every day for one month on a four-foot statue, the armature suddenly broke. I watched in shock as a foot fell off…. part of a hip…the gluteus maximus…. one arm… a month of seeing, studying, analyzing forms and muscles. It was a baroque pose- the rectus abdominus twisted and extended from the upper right to the lower left of the torso. Half the piece was lost. I felt ill.
My husband, Bob, and a visiting friend, Renee, held it up while I frantically tried to reinforce the armature, in order to salvage what was left of the piece. I put in an emergency call to Donald Kennedy, a sculptor and friend, who came like a doctor in the night. The intense hear of the past few August days, combined with the heat from the studio lights, had dangerously softened the clay. Donald arrived with ropes, hoists, blankets, wooden wedges for propping, and a giant toolbox filled with turnbolts, elbow joints, wrenches, and screws. We cooled the piece down with icewater and propped it up with wood, wire, and ropes. Thus it was stabilized until a new armature was built. The sculpture was now standing, partially salvaged. I couldn’t work for several days; heartsick, I couldn’t walk into the studio. When I was able to resume, I re-created the statue in three days. It had taken one month to understand the pose- to interpret the forms, the twists and curves, the muscle attachments, the skeleton. The time was spent in the struggle to see. That having been accomplished and committed to memory, I could quickly reproduce the exact pose even without the model’s being there.
The mind retains thoroughtly comprehended information, and it can be called upon at any time.”