Monday, August 8, 2011

Jocelyn Marsh

-By Ryan Friant

First off, I'd like to welcome everyone back to the Working in the 3rd Dimension blog. My name is Ryan Friant and I create dimensional illustrations under the alias of illworx. I will be helping Liz maintain the blog by co-curating the artists and features. I'd like to get right into it and kick things off with the haunting work of Jocelyn Marsh.

Jocelyn Marsh began her career in the arts with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Washing State University. From an early age she wrote fantastical fiction stories that eventually translated into mythical creatures and tales told through sculpture. In 2001, Marsh traveled from Southeast Asia to Western Europe and eventually settled down in Brussels, Belgium where she continued to write and collect discarded treasures. It was in Belgium that a taste for the macabre and a love of science and historical fictions took hold for Jocelyn and by the time she returned to Los Angeles in 2003, a serious study into assemblage art ensued with the small collection she had started abroad. For eight years Marsh has been collecting skeletons, vintage toys, and other oddities bringing them together to form creatures yet unseen to tell stories she once put down on the page. Marsh currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

W3D: How did you start working dimensionally?

I started working dimensionally by making dioramas with found objects. I was doing primarily landscapes that included animal figurines, old necklaces, fabric, old photographs, bones, teeth, and any number of odds and ends. Slowly, I started combining the found objects in such a way that they became more sculptural and finally, I found ways to create my own parts to take the place of found objects so that the creatures themselves were the primary focus of each piece.

W3D: Can you describe your working process from start to finish?

I usually start with an image or a single thought that I want to expand on. My second step is usually to do a character study and write out a narrative to bring the world I’m about to create to life on paper. I started out in the arts as a fiction writer and find myself drawing from that part of my life quite a bit. Once I have a plan, I start gathering all kinds of materials from paint, epoxy clay, hardware, and cast metal objects to fabrics and resins. I also spend a lot of early Sunday mornings at the flea markets of Los Angeles in search of interesting objects to cast and old picture frames. When I have what I need to get started, I start assembling. Depending on the project, this can mean having a soldering station going in one room while paint is drying outside and clay is curing in another room. By the end of the construction process, I like to have things very tied off and tied together. I tend to create narratives with each series of pieces that work together to tell a story.

W3D: What tools are typically used in your pieces?

I use anything I see in front of me to get the job done. Since I work at a fast pace and focus so intently on each piece, I often find myself unprepared when it comes time to do certain little tasks. For example, I’ll be holding a wing on which I’ve just applied a quick-drying adhesive without securing the body to its mechanical arm first. I end up just holding the body with a pair of pliers and waiting for the whole thing to set before I can position it properly. The process can become a game of Twister and is something I’m actually trying to improve. Typically though, I use Dremels, a Foredom flex shaft tool kit, homemade soldering tools, blow torches, glue guns, surgical tools, watchmaker’s tools, every kind of adhesive known to man, and a basic handyman’s tool kit. But honestly, my new favorite multi-purpose tool is the safety pin.

W3D: What do you do with the sculptures you’ve created?

There are a few different retail locations in Los Angeles that carry my work including Gold Bug, Beau & Aero, Dialect, and Gather. And, coming soon to New York City, Condor. My pieces can also be inquired about through Sometimes though, if pieces are just coming from a show, or waiting to go to a show, they can be found pouring out of every room of my house.

W3D: If you weren’t an artist, what else could you see yourself pursuing?

Apart from being an artist, I have also been working on an artistic career in the film industry in Los Angeles for 8 years. So, simultaneously while I do this, I am always working toward production designing for some of the great macabre, quirky, stylized, enchanting directors of our time. My dream is that one day, all will flow together and I will get to bring some of my tiny worlds to life in a big way on the big screen.

We here at Working in the 3rd Dimension would like to thank Jocelyn for her time. Below you can find a link to Jocelyn's website as well as links to some of the retail outlets she mentioned.,
All images © Jocelyn Marsh 2011


  1. Wonderful work. And I'm thrilled that Working in the 3rd Dimension is back!

  2. Thanks for visiting us Jayme and thank you for the kind words. We'll try our best to update on a bi-weekly basis.

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