Weems Gallery and Framing

Michele vandenHeuvel, Bené Bronze

Commercial Installations – To set up appointment call (505) 293-6133

My love of clay has been with me my entire life.  Even as a small child, I always carried a piece of clay in my hand.  Over the years the little lumps of clay became ducks, bears, figures of the saints… my imagination, combined with love and encouragement from my family kept my fingers working as my love of sculpture slowly grew. 

My studio is one of my favorite places on earth; it’s not fancy, but a place that speaks to me of comfort… when I walk inside, it smells of warm clay, incense, and wax… I have treasured every second and am blessed beyond measure to be working in such a special place. 

My sculptural work centers around two different themes; my liturgical (spiritual) work, and my non-liturgical (whimsical) work – Singing Turtle Studio.  My goal for both my Liturgical and Singing Turtle work is to sculpt pieces that are joyful, touchable, interactive, and explorable, for both children and adults alike.  Travel with me as we explore the interconnectedness of both the spiritual and the child-like.

In my studio you’ll meet my son, Sammy… He is my welder extraordinaire; an artist and photographer in his own right; his metal works and photography grace many businesses and a public space.  All the photographs you see here are the work of my son.  

In my studio you’ll also meet Odie the “studio dog”.. he is my example of relaxation and embracing the moment!  You’ll see pictures of him pop up here and there… How could I not include him?

I’ll also be posting a monthly “Bené Bronze” newsletter containing updates and photos of projects I am currently working on.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and relax as the clay warms and the work beckons.

I invite you to journey with me through the Gospel as you view my work. Ever since childhood, the Gospel and clay have played a central role in my life.  Sculpting allows me to speak from the heart of the emotion and love I feel for Christ, through each Gospel story I read… My sculptures range from tabletop to monumental; all the pieces you see here can be enlarged. I would be happy to speak with you regarding an idea for a specific sculpture.