Brenda Buffalin

 I have focused primarily on hands as my subject manner because I have found such fascination with the gestures that hands take on when a person is emotional. The hands are just as expressive as a face and are used continually to communicate a mood, a concept and much more.  I prefer to create them the old fashioned way by modeling them with wax or clay. It allows me the control of my concept — which is much more than just a body casting process.

I cast most of my work with a lost wax process. I use clay or wax, to create the sculpture and then I finalize the piece as a wax positive. I create a mold that is either baked investment materials or covered in shell casting. The wax is then melted out of that mold. Then I pour molten metal into the cavity where the wax has melted out. The next step is to clean the metal after its cooled and remove all the mold material from its surface. I finish the pieces by grinding, polishing and adding a patina to my metal. I do all my own work and nothing is farmed out to a foundry.

When I work in kinetic concepts, the ideas dictate the materials and from there I’m all over the place with production processes, which is half the challenge with kinetic work.

When I do portraiture, I create the portrait in plasteline clay, and with about four sittings of the person I sculpt I am able to complete the portrait. I use the same process as mentioned above to cast the portraiture in a metal or plaster the client prefers it to be cast in.

I have shown my sculpture work in Lake Arrowhead CA, Solvang, CA, Fullerton, CA, Palm Springs, CA, Elmira, NYand much more.  My formal training came from Murray State University and the University of California, Long Beach with a BFA in sculpture. I specialize in conceptual bronzes, kinetic interactive sculpture, and sculpted portraiture. I work in bronze, aluminum, wood, alabaster, plastic, clay, cast resins and much more. 

I have been creating various types of art all of my life. During the past 20+ years, while raising my son, I owned a boutique business in the Graphic Design field. So I am just now getting back to my true passion, sculpture. I have designed ornaments for the company “Hallmark” for their miniature ornament line, in Kansas City, Kansas. I have designed pewter giftware for Kevitt Jewelers in Los Angeles and I have designed handbags for the company Mid Continent Imports and various clothing companies when I was a fashion buyer. 

I have a special person in my life, Paul, who has encouraged, supported and helped me with everything to push my art forward. He understands my soul and has always been there for me, I owe it to him to be able to pursue my passion in this time in my life. I have one son, Michael, who is just as entrepreneurial and independent as I am and lives in NY. I have two dogs — Harpo, a yorkie poo and Sophie, a rescued yorkie silver terrier. They are both my “lovies” and keep me company all the time. 

I live in the resort area, Lake Arrowhead and love it for its natural woodsy beauty and for the many talented friends I have in the area. My studio is at home and I cast my metal at various foundries throughout Southern California.


Firewatch Studio, PO Box 3464, Running Springs, CA 92382