Terra Sculpture, modern garden art that’s a steel


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If you’re in the market for garden sculpture, the options can seem unattainable (think Henry Moore bronzes) or kitschy (Euro-reproductions manufactured in China). But here’s a made-in-L.A. choice that’s interesting and fairly affordable, as these things go.

Los Angeles artist and landscape designer Jennifer Gilbert Asher was frustrated with the lack of affordable contemporary sculpture for her clients’ projects, so she began to design her own. Asher teamed up with Mario Lopez, who runs a metal fabrication studio in south Los Angeles, and marketing veteran Karen Neill Tarnowski. Earlier this year they launched Terra Sculpture, pricing the artworks between $1,900 and $2,900.


Sculptures are stainless steel, weathered steel and powder-coated steel in Pop-art colors. The metal can be sculpted and shaped, as illustrated by the aptly named ‘Taffy,’ pictured above, Terra Sculpture’s bestselling piece.

Terra Sculpture is designed with clean lines and soft geometry. Many of the nine limited-edition pieces have a see-through quality that works nicely in gardens. The designs complement midcentury modern architecture, ranch houses and even more traditional homes.

“I’m fascinated by the contrast when bold, clean forms are set in the unrestrained beauty of nature,’ Asher says. ‘This is what I explore with my sculpture.”

The artist designs and scales her pieces for the residential landscape. At 4-foot-6 to 6-foot-6, the sculptures are suitable for properties with covenants restricting anything above the height of a fence. It also has human proportions: “Where you place a sculpture becomes the comfortable spot to rest the eyes,” Asher says.One other good reason to add sculpture: Unlike plants, they don’t require water. Depending on the piece, a sculpture could be a form of sustainable landscaping.

-- Debra Prinzing
Photos: ‘Taffy,’ top, in a garden designed by Tom Stout; ‘Embrace,’ above left, and ‘Tempest,’ above right. Credits: Terra Sculpture, top; Adam Grossman, above left and above right.