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.

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, to be honest. From the time I was 5 or 6 years old sculpting was an intuitive, instinctual, almost compulsory action of my hands. My family often bought cheap packs of modeling clay for me because they knew I would busy myself 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, sometimes brains..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 Joanna Ebenstein's library of detailed essays on wax art through the ages.


I'm releasing small collections of Medieval manuscript marginalia figures this summer, so please check them out on my SHOP page! I will be releasing a new collection of these figures every month. If you are on my mailing list, you will receive advance notice of their release with advance access to purchase.. so sign up if you would like to collect.

I will also be debuting a new set of framed wax snake sculptures this month (June) so stay tuned for those. If you visit my SHOP page you will notice that wrapping paper, puzzles and stationary is on the horizon. I'll be probably be debuting the first designs in early August.


Heather O'Shaughnessy