From St. Louis, US
Based in Wright City, US
Harry Weber is an accomplished American sculptor whose bronze athletes decorate many public spaces, stadiums, and museums. His works, portraying the greatest figures of sports, celebrate the human form and peak performance
A: How did you start to sculpt sports?
H: From a very early age, I was intrigued with the human body in motion and I would sketch constantly. The ability to capture the defining moment in any activity was my goal. The transition from sketching to sculpture was natural… To get those moments in three dimensions was more difficult, since it had to work from every angle, but much more satisfying.
A: The most captivating part of it for you?
H: Making the action portrait of a specific individual into a real work of art that stands by itself is the ultimate goal. The first part of that in sketches and models is the most important and the most interesting.
A: How does the process work?
H: The process takes about nine months to a year to complete. Since I am sculpting people in action, there is no chance to “pose” for the work. So, I review dozens if not hundreds of images and films of the subject and make sketches and maquettes that fulfil the principal goal of getting the action and emotion right.
Make life sized or bigger versions of the initial model. Then moulds and waxes from that original art. Cast those waxes in bronze. Assemble patina and installation.
A: 3 things you learned about sports by sculpting it?
H: 1. There is emotion behind every activity and you have to capture that as well as the “likeness”.
2. Sports fans are sticklers for detail… get the gear and the form right or you will hear about it.
3. Individual players have very individual ways of doing the same thing… That is the most important thing to get right.
A: I’ve never tried, but wish to sculpt…
H: A group of the most famous football (soccer) players in various plays and motions controlling or kicking the ball.
A: Your advice to someone who’s just starting their sport art journey?
H: Get your work in front of team owners in any way you can… work with their websites and publications and eventually get a commission.
A: A funny story that happened to me related to sculpting sports is…
H: Having the St. Louis Cardinals turn down an idea of making a two foot bronze and then call me the next day to sculpt ten life sized figures… not a bad trade off.
A: Your favorite quote?
H: After someone commented that I had made Bob Gibson looks “too mean”, he (Bob Gibson) said, “You don’t generally look too pleasant when delivering a 100 mile an hour fastball!”
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