Alice McLean

McLean Bronze

"Jack McLean (1953-2017), with whom I shared my life and studio for almost 40 years, taught me to let the elements of metal, chemical, and fire guide my process. The dialogue begins when the bronze inspires me and then resists me. It continues as I impose my design ideas on the metal, and when the metal leads me another way. I must be ready to let the story change as the transformation of metal and the alchemy of patina happens. Just when I feel rudderless and the whole undertaking seems ready to collapse, Jack and the materials "speak," and I find my voice."

Each bronze wall tile is approached as a still life—a study in color, composition, and texture. The bronze dory is a sculptural antidote to all things with parallel lines and right angles. The shape provides stillness and calm.

Alice McLean uses an arc welder, band saw, abrasive discs, and gas propane torch to cut, join, and transform bronze sheet. Strong oxidizers such as cupric acid, ferric nitrate, and tannic oxide, are brushed or spayed onto the prepared bronze surface and manipulated with flame to create rich and complex patinas.

Alice McLean's aesthetic education began when she studied literature at National College of Education. She began learning how to express thoughts through art—in direct and abstract ways—when she started working alongside her husband, the sculptor Jack McLean. His mastery of metalwork and patinas established the foundation for her own exploration and innovation.

READ MORE