Joshua Diedrich is a classically-trained figure, portrait and animal sculptor, trained under Dora Natella, then Louis Marinaro, a student of legendary teacher Walter Erlebacher in Philadelphia. These Italian and New York lineages represent some of the few paths by which the ancient knowledge of Western figurative sculpture survived the push toward abstraction of the 20th century, when so much knowledge was abandoned.

Classical figure and portrait sculpture is largely concerned with the study of form- a series of geometric and proportional patterns created to break the complex geometry of the human body down into a set of quantifiable planes and 3-dimensional forms that can then be transferred into clay or stone. 

Form theory is an incredibly valuable skill set, and one that’s often lacking from the work of even very good draughtsmen and painters. It’s an entirely new way of thinking, that gives speed and finesse to sculpture, and weight and a sense of space to 2-dimensional drawings or paintings. 

A real understanding of 3D form, to some extent, has to be learned with hands and clay– in a full 3 dimensions. But students may also choose to pursue digital sculpture in the Z Brush or Blender platforms once certain skills are acquired. 

The sculpture program cycles throughout the year, moving from skill to skill, and continues indefinitely, or as long as the student wishes to pursue.