Bas-relief is a French term meaning "low-raised work." This
ancient technique dates back to Classical Greece and even
earlier in some Mesopotamian civilizations. This type of
artwork, along with high relief (above, left), is known collectively
as relief sculpture—meant to be seen primarily from
one direction—as opposed to sculpture which is in
the round or full round.
Bas relief in its most refined state, is not simply three-dimensional.
Detailed attention must be paid as to where light falls
on the contours and planes of the work. Angles cut at varying
degrees capture and reflect varying amounts of light relative
to each other and their light source. In this sense bas
relief sculpting resembles painting more than sculpting
in that while the traditional sculptor "captures" the
true 3-dimensional form of the subject, the bas relief
sculptor must "trap" light in such a way that
it "mimics" 3-dimensional form.
Janice Trimpe creates bas relief portraits for commemorative
purposes, such as medallions, for awards such as plaques,
and for personal gifts. The bas reliefs begin with a photograph
of the subject which is then modeled in clay. After making
a mold, the final product is cast in bronze or other appropriate