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Jean Wells (born in 1949) is a Californian sculptor.
Raised in the wholesome landscape of the evergreen Pacific Northwest, Jean Wells was born into a large artistic family with a strong traditional skill set grounded in such old world techniques such as fresco secco, realism and mosaics. At an early age the young artist apprenticed with her father, mosaic artist Thomas Wells, and learned the painstaking craft and iconography of classical Byzantine-style mosaics as he completed a large commission for the prestigious and architecturally celebrated St. Demetrios Greek Church in Seattle. Having worked for a number of years in paintings and ceramics, Wells has recently rediscovered her love of mosaics and in keeping with her playful, trickster nature, she prefers to turn the traditional uses of this medium on their head and make sculpture instead of murals.
Wells is deeply inspired by her sumptuous materials, and works with an exquisite palette of beautifully colored glass that she has custom created for her sculptures. These unique glass creations provide her with an incredibly wide selection of tones, qualities of reflection and color gradations, allowing her to shade forms, variegate and layer colors with great precision and nuance. Wells hand cuts the glass, and keeps a reserve of tiny scrap pieces that allow her to add details and touches of color that keep the surfaces lively and variable. Like many artists, she relies upon her personal history, imagination and even her dream life to arrive at the ideas she will pursue as actual objects.
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