Our Intern: Luisa Stainback

This year Polich Tallix had the pleasure of welcoming a summer intern, Luisa Stainback. A full time undergrad art student at Bard College, Luisa first came to us while she was touring the facility with her casting class. As it turned out, she is also the niece of our long time client Cristina Biaggi. Luisa spent the summer learning the ins and outs of our different departments including mold making, wax casting and gating, and metal finishing. She also worked on updating all of our Safety Data Sheets and started creating a sample library for clients. Shared below is an excerpt of her experience working in the finishing department.

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“I have been interested in the art of forming metal since exploring the small metal shop at Bard. When I went on a fieldtrip with an art class to Polich Tallix, I was set on finding a way to work in such a vast place of knowledge and craftsmanship. With the support of recently retired PTX employee Vanessa Hoheb, I was able to land a summer internship.

Working at Polich Tallix has been an experience that has increased my skills in the metal working trade significantly. Since the beginning, I was most interested in working in the metal finishing department. When I finally made it there, my desk neighbor and friend Leo helped me put my thoughts on finishing into words: ‘Working in finishing is the best job here because you get to see the final sculpture become whole under your fingers.’

During my time in finishing, I worked on the incredible bronze heirloom pumpkin sculptures by Amy Goldman. It is ironic that I was able to work on this project, because my other great passion, besides art, is sustainable and organic farming.  Amy Goldman melds these two crafts into one with her sculptures which preserve the unusually beautiful shape of heirloom vegetables that have been pushed to the wayside by our current industrial food system. The two kinds of heirlooms I worked on are known as the Kikuza and Guicoy Pumpkin which in their final state will receive a realistic patina and will weigh respectively eight and seven pounds.  Many of Ms. Goldman’s works have passed through Tallix and Polich Tallix, all with the same purpose of preserving the extraordinary beauty of the heirloom vegetables that she grows in her Upstate organic garden.

The opportunity I’ve had working on these sculptures has honed my finishing skills and dexterous abilities radically. As a studying artist in the undergraduate program at Bard College, I know these skills will help me in creating my own work and assist me in the real world when my career starts. I am so grateful for the people at Polich Tallix who have taught me so much. My gratitude also goes to the incredible art that I was able to be involved with during my time here. In conclusion, the artistry that I witnessed at Polich Tallix is a process that requires many hands with years of expertise to perform; being privy to that process has deepened my understanding of the greater art world.”

 

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