Linda Thimann Dewing
I‘ve been an visual person all my life, even when practicing management or marketing. How I do things and what they look like, is as important to me as what I do.
After college I studied fine art and interior design at New England School of Art in Boston, now no longer extant. I practiced interior design for a number of years in the Midwest, and then started painting with an artist friend.
That made it clear I needed to understand the shapes of things, so I sought out opportunities to study sculpture, and finally settled on a very small and unique place, Naguib School of Sculpture, just outside of Chicago. Mustafa Naguib was formerly sculptor to the King of Egypt, and was later thrown out by the revolution. Moving to the US, he taught sculpture direct from the figure. We were a small class of about 7 diverse students and we learned how to create life size statues from the model, as well as smaller or larger figurative statues, together with every detail of all the various aspects of the production, including making armatures, preparing and kneading clay, throwing plaster, making molds, casting and finishing bonze. It was an exceptionally challenging and exciting experience. (Naguib has since passed on, so that school no longer exists either.)
After moving back East, I found work decorating unique cakes for a while, which allowed me to have fun with color and form both – very satisfying – and then I began work at the Paul King Foundry in Johnston RI (also no longer extant) making molds and waxes and preparing them as the first step of the bronze casting process. This highly technical process involves skills from both hand and mind to think through and execute the many steps. I enjoyed working directly with a large variety of artists, for whom our part of the shop was the beginning of creating their work in bronze. After Paul King closed its doors, the owner began to collaborate with foundries in the Far East, and I was privileged to visit one of the largest ones in Thailand in 2009 to see the work they were doing.
During this time, I made a number of bronze pieces, raised my two children, and then had a career in academic administration followed by real estate. Sometimes I think an artist has to die before she/he can be recognized! Recently I am back to artistry and have taken up carving wood. It is a fascinating and challenging process when one can only remove.
Working in clay or wax is more fluid – if you don’t like what you did, you can add a piece of clay to change it, or take some away. Carving is a one-time thing – when gone, it is gone. I am fascinated by the idea that is taking form, the grain of the wood, the overall curving lines of the piece, the shadows, the angles and forms that define the sculpture. It is an unfolding process.