After the piece has been bisque fired, it is then reassembled using a slow curing epoxy. Once the epoxy is set, the details along the seams are re-added and the piece is coated in primer and multiple coats of a high quality matte paint. Again, the time and detail spent on this part of the process is truly impressive. She really is a master at her technique and that shows in the quality of her sculptures.
The other really exciting part of the workshop, for me, was to hear her talk about working in the fine art field and working with a high end gallery in NYC. Working in the art field at this level is rather like working in the NFL. The artist typically signs an exclusive contract with the gallery and is expected to produce a certain amount of work each year or 18 month cycle. In Beth's case she was expected to produce enough work for a solo show every eighteen months. Even though she had the gallery behind her, promoting her career, she still worked hard to make sure that the art collectors who were interested in her work were aware of her upcoming shows and often times had the pieces sold even before they arrived at the gallery. The flip side of this arrangement was that she was expected to clear everything that affected her work with the gallery, from showing at other venues to donating artwork to personal matters like having a child. It's definitely a very different way of managing a career from that of an independent artist.
I think one of the most important things that I took away from this workshop was hearing how Beth used her connections in the art world to create and build her career. Rather than simply submitting an application to the residency program at the Bray, she asked a friend of hers who was already there to put in a good word for her, securing her spot in the program. Later on, once she had been given an opening into a prestigious gallery, she took matters into her own hands and actively promoted her work to collectors she thought would be interested in it, selling all of the works sent to the gallery. This just goes to show that, while a gallery has an interest in promoting an artist, it's a good idea for an artist to do some self promotion as well.