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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 worked with it,

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 create 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. 

Bio page coming soon..




 I am delighted and honored to have been chosen as a grant recipient through The Regional Arts Commission and I appreciate their recognition of my work and proposal to create a workshop series based on the lost art of wax flower making. The grant will fund the design of a supply box, a new website to house the supplies and video workshops. This will make it possible to create a wax botanical project at home. New videos about the history of this lost art will be covered by this grant as well.

I am hoping to revive my in person workshop series this year. I was previously in partnership with Atlas Obscura pre-pandemic, offering workshops with a focus on lost art techniques. Stay tuned for more information on these weekend projects!


continue my partnership with Morbid Anatomy to offer some of my smaller limited edition wax and gypsum collectibles.. I am a longtime fan of

 Morbid Anatomy and their library of detailed essays on wax art through the ages. You will probably be seeing me in NYC for their September symposium.


My new website now also features researched articles on wax related arts. These articles are released monthly.. (or I try. sometimes I run behind a bit). Join me for a geek out session on historical wax art subjects like Vintage Floral Wax Tiaras, German Wax Cookie Molds, The History of Miniature Wax Portraiture sprinkled with videos of my own wax carving works in progress.

I'm hoping to take part in a few in-person exhibitions this year. If only for the sake of wearing a gown. I have 3 exhibitions booked for Amsterdam/Groningen/Paris for the spring of 2024 but I am finally getting back to organizing and booking engagements here. Feel free to message me about group shows or collaborations.


Heather O'Shaughnessy

News 2023

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