Samantha Thornton came to sculpting late in life, having previously channeled her passion for the medium as a specialist at Sotheby’s in the Old Master Sculpture Department. It was only after she was diagnosed with cancer that she decided she had nothing to lose by trying to do it herself and thanks to the chance encounter with fellow sculptor, Caroline d’AndlauHombourg, she started taking lessons at a community centre in Hammersmith.
Her bronzes are born from wax, built up on a metal armature and then cast with the ancient lost wax technique. Her stone carvings are painstakingly hewn from the stone by hand with a hammer and chisel and hand polished with sandpaper. These two very different disciplines allow Samantha to work in harmony, one creating the figure by slowly building it up from nothing with wax and the other destroying the rock and coaxing the trapped form to emerge from within: two sides of the same coin.
Her interest in the human form originates from her illness and from learning to meditate at that time using her body as her point of focus to bring about healing. This is further described in her book, POG: Weathering the Storm, in which she charts her seven-year journey to remission.
When she is sculpting her focus withdraws into her body to the point whereby the material she is working with becomes part of her body and she comes to complete stillness. It is this stillness she seeks to convey in her work.
Samantha Thornton is married to the garden designer, Guy Thornton. They live with their family in north Wiltshire.