by Michelle Wilding in New Art on Thursday 7 July 2011

I first came face to face with Jocelyn Marsh’s valiant work in a little vintage store called Beau + Aero in Santa Monica, California. I remember the sheer appeal coming from these little rustic dragons adorning the wall. They had this illusive charm that they were flying, despite only being suspended.

This quirky LA artist’s work is amazing, to say the least. She compiles skeletons, vintage toys and other odd pieces by fusing them together with fabricated parts from copper, bronze, gold and pewter metals to form creatures that are yet unseen in her written stories. Considering her successful Advancements in Science (Fiction) exhibit just closed, I thought it was a good time to catch up with Jocelyn and find out how this girl does it.

What got you into creating such quirky sculptures?
‘My sculptures are born of a lifetime of being fascinated by all the creatures that exist in reality and fantasy. I started out in the arts as a writer and was compelled as a child to write about mythological and magical themes. I animated a pill bottle at one point, named it Penny, and made it save the day’.

‘I was over-the-moon about dinosaurs and had one of those beds so filled with stuffed animals there was nowhere to lie down! At every turn as a creative person, I continued to experiment with animals. When I performed, my costumes were creatures, and now when I start building something, more often times than not, it turns out to be an animal’.

Your assemblage art style is definitely like no other. Can you share your method of crafting these unique pieces?
‘My method for crafting is really a compilation of methods. I do a lot of soldering of pewter and sculpting of epoxy clay. I generally start with a kindergarten drawing of what I want to create in 3D and then build whatever foundation and armature the piece will need. Then I just start layering.

‘Each piece definitely comes to life at a certain point during the final detailing stage. That is when I go off-map and abandon the original plan to give the piece what it needs to have a unique personality’.

Where do you source your materials?
‘I’ve spent a lot of years sourcing supplies and services as an art department buyer in the Los Angeles film industry and like that, have come across quite a few hole-in-the-wall places where great work is being done by very interesting people.

‘As my training is apprentice and trial-and-error based, I have become skilled at taking risks with new materials, services, and techniques. I try to look at each new venture as an experiment as not to become attached to any outcome’.

You recently featured more than 50 pieces of your past and current collections for your Advancements in Science (Fiction) exhibit. What’s next for Jocelyn Marsh?
‘My next step is to continue work on the octopus series I started this year entitled Hearts Lost at Sea. I’m going to continue experimenting with resin, colour, and geometric shapes, which is a new direction for me’.
Jocelyn Marsh art (2)
Jocelyn Marsh art (3)
Jocelyn Marsh art (4)