Barbara Hepworth, in M. Shepherd, Barbara Hepworth, London, 1963

[…] I rarely make a maquette. They are essential when working for an architect or a commission; but I always find that a good maquette, in the sense of being accurate, is an unpleasing object; whereas an exciting small sculpture is necessarily very different from the ultimate large one – but more stimulating.

Hepworth, Curved Form (Bryher II), 1961

Hepworth, Curved Form (Bryher II), 1961

[…] I have used bronze and other metals only in the last seven or eight years, and when working for bronze I build an armature and work direct in plaster of Paris which I prefer to clay, as it is possible to cut it and get a surface nearer to my personal sense of form. Certain forms, I find, re-occur during one’s lifetime and I have found some considerable pleasure in re-interpreting forms originally carved, and which in bronze, by greater attenuation, can give a new aspect to certain themes.

I think power tools are very limited in their use. The mechanical drill is a great help in boring a hole towards which one can carve freely without breaking one’s carving tools. The carborundum wheel also has its uses for certain inaccessible forms; but I regard them as strictly utilitarian and dislike very much any mechanical kind of surface, as I think the hand-work reveals the quality of thought right down to the final stages.

[…] I always envisage ‘perfect settings’ for sculpture and they are, of course, mostly envisaged outside and related to the landscape. Whenever I drive through the countryside and up the hills, I imagine forms placed in situations of natural beauty and I wish more could be done about the permanent siting of sculptures in strange and lonely places.

I prefer my work to be shown outside. I think sculpture grows in the open light and with the movement of the sun its aspect is always changing; and with space and the sky above, it can expand and breathe. Wood sculptures, of course, are not happy out of doors; but they have other properties more tactile and intimate which relate to an indoor life.