Ruth Bader Gilbert

How is a Portrait Made?

Creating a portrait involves the sitter being looked at for some considerable time!  Some people may feel a little self-conscious, initially.  So Ruth prefers, adults especially, to talk to her.  This leads to a much more lively portrait.  Children usually find it more pleasurable to listen to a story tape, some of the time, while artist and sitter are getting to know each other.

Six or eight sittings of an hour and a half is usually enough to complete the first stage of the sculpture. Clay is built up on an armature and when the artist is satisfied with the results, a cast is made.

This is then converted into bronze or resin bronze (imitation bronze) which is a complicated process. Then a coloured patina is applied to the surface. The sculpture is then mounted on a base for more stability.






Ruth working in her studio on a portrait of
Sir Richard Dole.


Where is it made?

Most portraits are made at Ruth's studio, set in her lovely garden in Oxford.

However, if required, she is willing to visit the sitter in his/her home.