I began working with bronze sculpture in autumn 2006, after years of collecting African sculptures, which stand and hang throughout my studio and home, and which have inspired many of my paintings. My original intention was to experiment with materials other than bronze, but my fascination with the shiny metal was a much stronger attraction. I make my models out of Styropor, a fairly easy material to work with. I shape it with a variety of homemade loops, which I heat up and use to cut or burn through the material. It is a fast method of working. I have to decide on the shape of the figure in advance and be very alert and concentrated during the cutting process. One wrong cut and the figure is ruined.
I do not usually make sketches of my sculptures, but I have numerous sources of inspiration. It may be the large rock formations on the Island of Nisyros in the Greek archipelago, voluminous abstract marble sculptures with round, soft shapes, hard-fired ceramic vases and sculptures, our collection of African sculptures and masks, sculptural furniture or lamps. In order to cast the figure, the model must not be too fragile, as entire sections might otherwise disappear during the casting process. Inevitably, changes occur when a form is transferred from one medium to another, in this case from Styropor to bronze, and I have to take that into account during the modelling process. After the model is finished, I make a model of the sculpture base, which is also cast in bronze. The bronze caster then makes an impression of my figure in casting sand. After the figure has been cast, it is cleaned of sand and impurities, and then the laborious patination process begins. The final element is the grinding and polishing work, which transforms the sculpture from a matt blue-green shape into a radiant figure. My small sculptures are mounted on narrow bronze pillars, which are in turn mounted on bronze sheets, so that they appear light and floating. Every one of my bronze sculptures is unique and made of solid bronze.
—Christel Maria Nolle, June 2007