New Mexico artists Sally Hepler, Jesus Bartholomew Ochoa, Karen Yank and Andrew Cecil were interviewed for this story.
Sally Hepler solved the problem of multiples by making templates of each element in her abstract fabricated stainless
steel and sheet bronze sculpture. She describes the process as being similar to making dresses from paper patterns. The process involves
plasma cutting, machine extruding, shaping and hours of handwork.
"My collectors receive a handmade sculpture that is part of a consistent edition while remaining unique. By limiting
each edition to 15 or fewer, I avoid falling into the production line mode," Hepler said.
She learned her work ethic and painstaking craftsmanship from her machinist father who worked on projects including America's
"The execution of my work is as important as its abstract meaning," Hepler said.
Her geometric and organic compositions are inspired by constructivists Malevich and Tatlin, personal encouragement from
the late Allan Houser and her own sense of design formed while an architectural illustrator.
She described her work titled "Full Circle" as a metaphor for her life including years spent with her late
husband. The large work is composed of a circle emblematic of life and an elaborate knot representing their relationship. Hepler's sculpture
symbolizes positive human achievement, universal emotional feelings and lofty goals.
Jesus Bartholomew Ochoa, a found object constructivist makes one-of-a-kind mixed media metal totemic sculpture. Ochoa says he tunes into the zeitgeist for inspiration and trusts his intuition.
"We live in a throw-away society. When I'm walking through the debris I look for things that speak to me. I try to place objects in a context that retains their voice in service of a larger message," Ochoa said.