Local artist Jennifer Troice has worked with her hands her whole life. Born in Texas and raised in Mexico City, she grew up playing the piano and harp. But later, she realized her creative passions lay in a slightly messier artform — bronze sculpture.
The 33-year-old, who moved to Dallas a year ago with her husband and three children, earned a psychology degree but found art to be the most soothing and expressive form of therapy. She opened a sculpture studio in Mexico with the skills she cultivated at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. “I’ve always loved art,” she says.
Throughout her sculpting career thus far, she’s created upwards of 4,000 bronze pieces — ranging from small whimsical hands and figures to intricate animals to enormous statement pieces in public parks — in hues of gold, brown, dark green, and beyond. Her aesthetic of cubism and geometric minimalism makes her work appear both abstract and approachable at the same time. Behind the flawlessly modern and clean finished pieces lies a creation process that can be lengthy and labor-intensive.
She first meticulously sculpts her designs with clay, which can take four hours for a hand or 210 hours for a skull attached to an incredibly complex spinal cord, and creates a plaster or silicone mold. Then she works with a bronze foundry that helps with the many steps that follow: filling the mold with a layer of wax that keeps the inside hollow, removing the mold and dipping the hardened wax in a fiberglass material 10 times to create the ceramic shell, heating that shell to harden it and melt away the wax, pouring 1,800-degree molten bronze into the shell, letting it cool and solidify before breaking away the ceramic shell to reveal the bronze form, cleaning the bronze with a sandblaster, and finally polishing the bronze to rid it of imperfections and adding a finish.
Although she still produces work with her team in Mexico, Troice recently started working with a foundry in Miami to bring her visions to life. The pandemic this year had put her sculpting plans on hold, but now, she says, things are finally falling into place. She formed a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help give back to the community and is adding to her collection of endangered species featuring a hippo, gorilla, eagle, and more.
Her unique hand and mudra pieces, though, are still her bestselling works. “They’re all slightly different because they’re handmade,” Troice says. “When it comes to giving a gift at the end of the year, people are choosing between a bottle of wine — or a bronze sculpture. It’s something that’s definitely more original. It’s something they’re going to keep forever.” View her work at jennifertroice.com.