Cast Bronze and Carved Wooden Sculpture, paint on canvas: Cathy Irving

Perhaps this holiday season, something unique under the tree.

Well thought out gifts carry a kindness with them that extends beyond the holidays.  Most of us likely can think back to a few particular gifts over the years that made our heart sing.  Some thing we continue to visit, touch, place in a special spot, or bring out when we need comfort.   Several years ago my sister and I were sitting on the back porch on a warm afternoon in the dappled shade back porch at my grandmothers house. We both looked in the same direction at a wooden carved turtle that my Aunt Cathy had created from redwood years before.  The solid shape and warm feel, weathered over time from exposure was something I could remember since I was a child.  Meaningful gifts like this stay with us, they become our treasures. DSC_0647

Utilizing that natural light, Cathy overlooking the trees from her island studio in Washington State


The first step in bronze sculpture is creating a wax sculpture.


From the wax a mold is made, then cast in bronze or resin (large horse)


The final product is a beautiful, numbered bronze or resin sculpture. This little filly was created in 1974.

My mothers sister, my Aunt Catherine Irving, is a sculptor, now living in the Pacific NW.  Her love and talent for art and animals was inspired and embraced early on.  While in college in Colorado, she studied Fine Art and Animal Science. At 20, an aunt gave her a block of wood and she carved and found that working in three-dimension came naturally for her. Her work in bronze began in 1972 after being introduced to a foundry in LA by her aunt  Joan Irving, an accomplished professional watercolor artist herself and wife of the painter Rex Brandt.  Working in wood, bronze and paint on canvas, Cathy lives her art.

read about Joan Irving and Rex Brandt here:  www.

For over 4 decades Catherine has been creating sculptures and paintings and her work is in collections in Australia, France, Germany, England, Canada, Ireland, the US and Japan..

Currently her work is shown and available to purchase in several galleries including:

Gallery- Indigo Gallery located in Madrid, New Mexico,, Pinterest, and Xanadu online Gallery .  Her paintings are  is also available on her Etsy shop at and through her website:

To better understand the detailed process of bronze sculpture, this is how she explains it:

I sculpt the original in clay or wax but any medium that is solid enough to make a rubber mold from will work. I then send this original to a mold maker to make a flexible rubber (latex) mold. The mold and original are returned to me and then either I cast a wax or have the foundry cast a wax for it, if it’s a larger piece in the rubber mold. If I want more than one copy more waxes need to be cast. (each wax will be destroyed upon casting) I clean all my waxes, removing seam lines and repairing imperfections. I also add edition numbers and date the piece. The waxes are then taken to the foundry where they have a pour spout and vents called sprues, added and then the waxes are encased in a plaster investment. The next step is to put the whole piece into a large oven where the wax is burned out leaving a hollow cavity. The molten bronze is then poured into this cavity.
When it has cooled and hardened the investment is removed with tools and sandblasting. The next step is to remove the pour spout, sprues, repair imperfections etc. by ‘chasing’ using power grinders and hand tools. I like to oversee this and the following steps. It also gets welded to a base if there is one and is re-sandblasted; the last step is to apply a finish patina using acids and heat.The sculpture is finally waxed. I bring this home and mount it on a wooden or marble base

All of the above steps except sculpting the original can be performed by the foundry, however I like to clean my own waxes and oversee the final finishing steps even doing some of the chasing myself if necessary.

DSC_0310 this is my treasure, whats yours?

2 thoughts on “Cast Bronze and Carved Wooden Sculpture, paint on canvas: Cathy Irving

  1. Beautiful work! I especially love the little foals lying down, perfection! Cathy’s work can also be seen at the California Thoroughbred Breeders Assn. in Arcadia, CA. Her work is in the museum/library, and throughout the offices here and there. She was the official artist who produced the year-end championships at CTBA for many years.

    Liked by 1 person

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