Mountain Air Creations

Beth Franz, Artist

Let us help you honor the people and values important to you by working with you to create a unique piece of art for work or home.

Creating Art to Honor an Experience or an Idea

Seth's Solace, 2015

This is a piece that is still in process, not yet cast, at this point.  It was undertaken last year (2015), to honor the story that a former (writing) student of mine is trying to get down on paper even as I post this photo.  Her younger son (represented here in the center of the ensemble) has lost both his father and his older brother.  The piece was designed to honor the role that these two important people have played ... and continue to play in Seth's life.  They are shown here surrounding and embracing Seth, continuing to be a quiet presence in his life, giving him comfort even though they have past from this life.



David, 2002

Installed at the entrance to the Child Development Center on the campus of The Ohio State University - Mansfield and NC State College, this piece was created to honor the spirit of giving demonstrated by the Center’s staff, who are dedicated to the development of young children in the formative and critical years between infancy and the beginning of kindergarten.  Also dedicated to the importance of art in the daily lives of young people, this piece is intended to greet young people as they enter and exit the Center on a daily basis.


Gentle Warrior, 2014

This is a piece I created when I returned home to my studio following my first workshop with sculptor Philippe Faraut.  Philippe, who is both a master sculptor and a supportive and encouraging teacher, helps his students focus on what is important to really "see" if one hopes to capture not only a physical likeness of someone but that person's spirit as well.  This piece honors both the courage and the sense of playfulness that I know that I know I must hold in my heart if I hope to move forward with my sculpting career at this point in my life.  (Thanks, Philippe!)


Mother and Child

Mother and Child, 2009

This piece honors the vital link between mother and child.  It also honors those parents who instill in their children an early love of the art of storytelling.  

The piece began its way into the world as part of an ensemble of pieces, designed for outdoor installation, intended to honor the kinds of commitments that  many community college students are trying to juggle, while they also try to attend to their studies.  It became a stand-alone piece as more and more people began to take notice of the small maquette I made, shown above, at the right, sitting in a saucer.  

Enough people commented on the piece that I began building an armature to take the piece to roughly two-thirds life size.


Father and Child

Father and Child, 1994

One of the first pieces I made after I became a mother at the age of 36, this piece also honors the vital link between parent and child.  The two hands are separate pieces:  one consisting of a fired white clay, and the other a fired terra cotta.  The child’s hand rests comfortably on the thumb of the adult male’s hand, suggesting that the connection between the father and child is one of choice, and when chosen, is a connection both strong and comfortable.


Basketball Player

Basketball Player, 2011

This piece honors the dedication of young people whose lives are solidly grounded in sports.  This basketball player’s confidence in himself as a young man clearly derives from his knowledge of who he knows he is on the court.


Paul the Elder

Paul the Elder, 2004

This piece honors those of us who are lucky enough to grow old … even though with all of our aches and pains, we might not always feel that lucky!  The Elder was once one of the most respected members of the community, and the look in this elder’s face conveys the wisdom that comes with age, the strength it takes to get to that age, and a willingness to accept what life brings.   He is the embodiment of the Serenity Prayer that so many of us recite as we find ourselves on the path to more years than we ever imagined we might be living!


College Seal

College Seals, 2001 & 2002

Early in my career as a sculptor, I was asked by the College at which I teach (English) if I could create a Podium Seal using as a model a medallion roughly the size of a half dollar.  I initially created a seal approximately 18 inches in diameter for the podium that met the needs of the College.  I was then asked to create another seal twice that size, this one to go into the floor of the foyer of a new building recently purchased by the College.  Using a combination of carved wood, metal letters and numbers, sheet wax, and free-sculpted clay, I came up with another seal, this one 36 inches in diameter.  Both are still on display at the College.