Irish sculptor Mary Quinn specialises in Portrait Busts in bronze.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Hello Art Lovers everywhere and fans of Frank Sinatra in particular.

Did you know Sinatra was in Town, London Town off course. Through the wonders and seemingly incredible miracles of technology, he is singing and dancing at the LONDON PALLADIUM UK.

Why am I so interested? Well a couple of years ago, I was very intimate with Frank while I researched and studied how he looked. I had been commissioned to sculpt a lifesize bust of him. I love getting commissions but it is easier if the client is alive and able to give me at least 4 sittings. So my problem was getting appropriate photographs to work from. I was lucky to find two books "HIS WAY" by KITTY KELLEY and "SINATRA THE ARTIST AND THE MAN" by JOHN LAHR.

Kitty Kelly's was an unauthorised biography with a lot of writing and some interesting photos.
The most useful for me was definitely John Lahr's book. It was full of great photographs, from the young Frank singing with Bing Crosby and finishing wirh a final fabulous shot of Sinatra singing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1960. That photo was taken by photographer Bob Willoughby.

So for my commissioned sculpture, I selected the familiar Sinatra look (hopefully the one that people will easily recognise). Sinatra in his prime, wearing his famous trilby hat. By the way, the hat was a pain to sculpt. Briefly for any sculptors out there who might want to know how I made it. After endless permutations with wire mesh and clay, the clay was too thick to look natural and continually dried and flaked off, I bought an old trilby hat in a charity shop. I covered it with French Plasteleine which is an oily material, a bit like your child's plasticene and doesn't dry out and is suitable for moulding . Certainly my team at the Arch Bronze Foundry in Putney made a great job from it. You can see the different colour in the photograph of the original clay.


Did you know Frank had two different ears. I discovered this when I read John Lahr's book. Frank's left ear, neck and cheek were scarred during a difficult forceps birth, this resulted in a missing left ear lobe. (Incidently the difficult birth is why his mother Dolly could not have any more children.) In some of the photographs you see of Frank, I noticed that the photographer had turned the negative back to front to show the good ear so giving the impression that both ears were the same. I have to say it was tricky enough for me to decide which ear it was. These details all go toward making a sculpture look authentic.

You know, I once had a client who asked if I could give her a smaller nose and a longer neck. Well I am a very good sculptor, I could have done that for her but my reputation would have been ruined. Her friends would never have recognised her and I wouldn't get referral work and more importantly her husband would never have paid my bill. So please don't ask me for clay surgery, come to me after you have been to HARLEY STREET.


So, in case you were wondering. Yes, there is a limited edition of my Bronze Bust of Frank Sinatra available. You may contact methrough my web site

mary quinn sculptor

All the best until to morrow.



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