Esther’s beginnings in art came down a different path than most artists/sculptors. Esther was always interested in art and in horses. Horses filled her life in her first career. After graduating from State University of New York at Delhi with an animal and life science degree (with a major in horses), Esther headed off to Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School in Ardmore, OK. The school was full of handmade shoe work in a coal forge. There was practical application under a lot of horses, and classroom time. After getting her certification in shoeing, Esther was heavily involved in her farrier career for the next 16 years. She earned her Basic Certification in 1982 from the American Farriers' Association and went on to get the coveted Journeyman’s certification in 1986. Esther continued to shoe horses full-time until 1991 when she saw “two paths diverge in the woods” for her career, and she decided to take the path less traveled. Shoeing part-time for the next few years, Esther began to develop her sculpting career.
Having been interested and inspired in art by her Grandmother Benedict and her siblings who also chose art as a career, Esther decided it was time to make a change in her direction. Sculpture was the artistic style she was most interested in and so, with no formal training, Esther put the skills of working with steel that she had developed in her farrier career to use in sculpture. She likes the medium of steel because of its pliability and its ease of manipulation when red hot. Esther also knew there was a beautiful color spectrum in heated steel that, if harnessed, could be used to color her art. Starting to sculpt came naturally. Her first pieces were whimsical horseshoe sculptures of cowboys playing guitars, playing cards, roping a steer, and horses and sleighs. But then she wanted to get into a more formal individual style, and that is where she came up with the line-sculpture. Using 3/16 inch round rod steel material she had on hand, she heated and sculpted horses - the one animal she knew like the back of her hand - and created her first piece. The sculptures started out rather primitively, but people liked them and Esther knew she could develop and evolve the look over time. When viewing her line sculpture now, even though it’s made only of lines, you can see the muscles, the action, and even a life force in these steel creations. Esther does many commission pieces each year for people who are seeking the unique art they can’t find anywhere else.
Not only does Esther do line sculpture, but she also loves to do hand-created sculptured pieces in solid 3-D out of steel and bronze. She loves to experiment with different methods and mediums without fear of failure - just results. To the artist, the creation is all part of the joy - the seeing it develop right before your eyes. Birds, wildlife, horses and the human figure are all interesting to Esther. Esther has done several bronze castings over the years, and just loves to sculpt in clay, then have it cast into bronze at a foundry. Over the coming years, Esther would like to do more castings, as she knows there are some great pieces still there in her creative mind.
Esther also has a whole line of metal art pieces ranging from wall sculpture to small metal art pieces. She has many stock items she sells on her www.benedictmetalart.com Web site, plus she does an enormous amount of custom specialty work for individual clients and groups seeking awards and trophies, pet portraits, custom wall art, and signs. Her new mini gift sculptures, Pick-Me-Ups, can be seen at ww.pick-me-ups.com.
Esther loves her art and feels it is what God has intended her to do.
“I am honored to have you visit my Web sites. Enjoy! Art is meant to be looked at, shared, and to please the eye. I hope you find what you are looking for here.”