Mela Cooke began sculpting part time 25 years ago when she took up her hobby. Once she sold her physiotherapy practice, she found herself enthusiastically embracing the role and started to sculpt full-time with the human body at the forefront of all of her creations, as this figurative sculpting became her niche.

For several years she sculpted in marble, a process that requires a variety of electric tools and strength. Now Mela also specialises in clay and bronze as it is a ‘lovely material to work with, with a forgiving and calming nature’.

“The sculpting process includes many steps, each as important as the last. I always use a live model to photograph a pose from multiple angles. A metal armature is made up according to my drawings to support the clay, and from this point I am able to start laying on the clay and shaping it, ultimately spending the most time on the fine details. From the finished clay sculpture, my work is moulded and cast in bronze. Most sculptures take ten to twelve weeks from start to completion,” Mela said.

Mela’s source of inspiration for each piece is derived from her encounters with people and animals. She finds that concentrating on the soul and character of her subjects to portray their inner and outer beauty is rewarding in these uncertain times.

The talented sculptor has been on the committee of Sculptors Queensland for several years. “I am delighted that after a tough year for artists, with many exhibitions cancelled, Sculptors Queensland is soon to open an exhibition of Indoor and Outdoor sculptures on the river of Hamilton, ‘Northshore Sculpture By the River’ beginning on October 3rd,” she said.

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