No weekend adventure would be complete without a trip to a foundry located in downtown Philadelphia (time to have molds made of the Nolcha Four)! I left my home in Virginia around 7:30AM after carefully strapping my precious cargo (sculptures) into my Nissan Rogue with a complicated intertwining of bungie cords and wooden shims. Keeping these creations secure for the long trip was paramount. Normally, my husband accompanies me on one of these adventures, but he had other business to attend to. Thankfully, my dear sister-in-law Marla volunteered to make the pilgrimage with me. As we traveled north, I found myself incessantly checking my rearview mirror not for law enforcement, but for the condition of my precious cargo. The further north we went the bumpier the roads became. Yes, we have an infrastructure problem in this country! Poor Delilah began to bounce like a preteen on a trampoline while Marla chanted “don’t look back, don’t look back”! I began practicing all the deep breathing techniques that I have been teaching my clients for years in order to maintain my composure.
After hours of bumper to bumper traffic, we arrived at our destination. Luckily, I have worked in similar urban neighborhoods of Richmond, Virginia, so Philly was not a complete shock. In the midst of what appears to be a war zone, complete with plastic covered windows and smashed up cars lining the streets, stands a 100-year-old three-story building, which in days gone by, was a fabric manufacturing plant. This is the new home to Stratton Sculpture Studios whose owners are in the process of renovating this “historical site”. I chose Stratton because they came highly recommended by an artist friend of mine and are noted for their meticulous work. Julia and Shane Stratton are classically trained artists with 40 years of experience between them. Notably, Julia is a patinist which means she is an artist who specializes in the patination (coloration) of metal. I want to work with the best artist I could find in order to bring my fashion line to life. Meeting with Julia and Shane was an absolute pleasure. They were extremely kind, helpful, and generous. When I originally sent them photos of the piece “Carry Your Courage” (formerly named “Catwalk”) Delilah was empty handed, not carrying anything! Now, here I was showing up with a sculpted Wren and Roch purse which was not accounted for in their original quote. I shared Wren and Roch’s mission to raise awareness for victims of sexual assault. I inquired about the additional cost and was happily stunned when they said “no charge, no problem”. Just goes to show that when you support good causes, good things happen! I am happy to report that all four figures made it to Philly no worse for the wear, and will be making their way to California in about three weeks for casting.