I discovered wax relief sculptures in miniature about

12 years ago after searching for a process that sculptors

used in the 18th century for making wax anatomical models.

At the time I was working with porcelain exclusively, creating functional

ware and also sculptural and jewelry pieces. I found a bit more

creative freedom in wax, and the more I studied it's use a sculptural medium,

the more interesting it became.

I was particularly drawn to the dramatic Spiritual scenes of the

afterlife in religious wax relief sculptures and found the elaborate little details of wax portraiture to be enchanting. Wax portraiture was a luxury reserved for aristocrats and royalty for centuries. These delicate little masterpieces featured intricate braids and headpieces, finely detailed lace collars and convincing faces.

Wax is luminous and warm and malleable and lends itself

to the depiction of the human form. It was a warmth that I couldn't achieve with porcelain

and I was really excited to experiment with it.

I've been a sculptor for as long as I can remember. From the time I was 5 or 6 years old sculpting was an intuitive, instinctual, almost compulsory action of my hands. My family used to buy cheap packs of modeling clay for me and I would lose the world around me for hours with it. I had a thing for sculpting tiny figures.. really tiny. I remember feeling compelled to open them up and give them hearts, and eye sockets, brains, bones..feeling that somehow this infused my little sculptures with a spark of life. I suppose everything I do now is just a continuation of that. 

Spiritual devotionals, Mexican Folk Art, old carnival tchotchkes, Russian fairy tales, rainbow chakra energy, shadows and villainy are also some of the things that inspire the sculptures that I create. 

I am delighted and honored to continue my partnership with Morbid Anatomy to offer some of my smaller limited edition wax collectibles..and also a couple of framed pieces in their Fine Art section. I am a longtime fan of Morbid Anatomy and their library of detailed essays on wax art through the ages.

News 2022..

 I'm working on a new collection of framed relief sculptures and hope to be back in galleries this year. I have released a little collection of chalkware in the meantime. Check out my Shop of Little Miracles!


Heather O'Shaughnessy