As a child, Helen Lopez always found great joy in creating animals in 3D using natural objects found in the garden or by the sea. She would varnish pieces of wood and pebbles, fascinated by their natural grain and brilliant colours. It was at the age of nine, after digging down two feet in her parents’ garden one day that she discovered the freedom of clay. This led to a qualification in sculpting at school and soon after, completion of a portrait-sculpting course at a local Fine Art Bronze Foundry.
Helen enjoyed the course so much that she convinced the owners to take her on and train her as a technician at their foundry in Leicestershire and later in Cambridgeshire. It was during this time that Helen learnt the various highly skilled techniques needed to take a sculpture from its original clay medium through to a finished polished bronze. She worked on sculptures by many prominent artists, such as Ralph Brown, Malcolm Woodward, Helaine Blumenfeld, Olive Wootton, Geraldine Knight, and Neale Andrew.
During a year spent in Japan she made headlines with a small portrait head in plaster and became the first foreign sculptor to have work exhibited at the Fukui Open Sculpture Exhibition in forty one years. Also a black belt martial artist, Helen’s time in Japan only deepened her awareness of the sculptural qualities of the human form in motion and at rest. Fluent in Japanese, her life took a different direction as she went on to complete a BA in Japanese Studies at the University of Sheffield. After teaching Japanese, Spanish and English in the state and private sector for many years, she returned to her love of sculpture.
Inspired by artists such as Rodin, Camille Claudel and Ralph Brown, Helen gives her own naturalistic style to her portrait heads, busts and torsos, striving to portray the spirit of the subject through the subtle hint of muscle tone and personal characteristics. Her work varies in size from half life size to life size. Helen takes great care to create minute detail to get her preferred final surface texture and particular bronze patina to complete the presence of her finished work. She now produces bronze sculptures from her studio in Northamptonshire.