Jeanie Stephenson lives in a quiet Tennessee valley, just below Sewanee. Here you may find that a small group of animals has gathered: a couple of hens here, a couple of goats there. A dog. A horse. In her nearby backyard foundry, small sculptures are made in solid bronze, often depicting animals both rural and beyond. The hands that sculpt and cast each of these metal treasures are those of LOCALS artist Jeanie Stephenson.
Using the centuries-old Lost Wax method, Jeanie’s 20-pound bronze bars first meet their liquid molten metal form inside a ground-immersed graphite crucible - a feat not accomplished until temperatures reach 2,100 degrees. She pours the lava hot bronze into a mold previously sculpted to intended form. The liquid metal flows into each crevice and curve to fully inhabit the mold’s empty interior. Once cooled, the bronze regains solid form. Once the mold is broken open, the bronze is revealed as a life-like sculpture with Jeanie’s signature soft lines and endearing appeal.