top of page

About 

Diana Laura Serrano Silva is an artist based in South Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was born in Hidalgo, Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and has had the pleasure of being one of 86 artists selected for the Art of The State Exhibition 2023 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

 

Diana is also the first artist in residency at the Oglebay Institute Stifel Fine Arts Center in West Virginia. She will be completing her three-month residency starting March 1st 0f 2024. During her time there she will be running workshops in metal cutting.

Diana is currently an emerging artist working with copper, wood, and stone. Not only does she create sculptures but also jewelry, and as of lately has dabbled back into drawing. 

Artist Statement & Bio

Side Shot.jpg

Most recently, Diana's sculpture "Positions" was accepted to be exhibited at The State Museum of Pennsylvania for their Art of the State Juried Exhibition happening from September 10th 2023 to January 7th 2014. This same sculpture awarded Diana Juror's Choice at the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery in Wayne, PA. She was also a recipient of the James J. and Frances M. Maguire Artistic Excellence Scholarship from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from years 2018 to 2020.  

My art is heavily influenced by the juxtaposition of material and composition, highly prioritizing aesthetic compositions that involve process-oriented techniques and skills. While copper is the main focus of my work, I also seek ways to incorporate stone and wood in a harmonious manner. Thus far I've been working with these materials through a subtractive method, using manual techniques such as carving with a chisel and hammer for wood and stone as a way of maintaining a traditional approach. Despite technology changing the art-making process, my copper work stands out due to its intricate and detailed designs that have been hand-cut using a jewelry saw. This realization often surprises those who have the pleasure of viewing my work in person. 

In my design process, I often reuse the same symbolic elements that I find visually pleasing, creating a sense of movement and presence in my pieces. As I continue to grow and learn as an artist, I aspire for my sculptures to evolve into striking pieces that showcase my creativity, patience, focus, and technique. Ultimately, I hope that my compositions will speak to people on a deeper level, transcending the limitation of words. 

 

Diana Laura received her Associate Degree in Fine Art from the Delaware College of Art and Design in 2018. From there she continued her education at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where she got her Bachelor's Degree in 2020.
 

Diana has participated in Juried and Group of Exhibitions at Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Gallery (2023), Fisher Brooks Gallery (2020), Gallery 7 at PAFA (2020), Anne Bryan Gallery (2019),  Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery (2018), Art One Gallery (2017), The Lancaster Museum of art and the Demuth Art Gallery (2016).

IMG_20220322_200120_854.jpg

Copper Work

Diana's most recent work, as of 2022 has been focusing on the combination of copper and wood. These two materials have been used to make jewelry and sculptures. Diana learned how to cut metal at the Delaware College of Art and Design, she only made one project with it, however, through the making of this piece Diana fell in love with the labor behind hand-cutting metal. She continued to evolve that skill at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where she made two more sculptures; a copper accessory and some copper inlay in 2019. 

Diana didn't touch copper again until 2021 when she made "Nocturno" as a gift for her brother. This project was the introduction to simple copper sculptures which are held up by a piece of wood.

There is a lot of prep work before Diana actually starts cutting metal. This process begins with a paper sketch of the design, usually these sketches are very rough and have simple outlines. These drawings are then transferred to the computer or tablet. Doing the final drawing digitally helps visibility and symmetry. The video bellow shows Diana's digital drawing process for her first framed copper sculpture "Bajio".

In general, it takes Diana a minimum of two days to come up with a final drawing. As you could see with "Bajio" she went through several different sketches and patterns before deciding what would stay. Sometimes doing a sketch can take as long as cutting metal. 

Once the drawing is printed it is glued onto the copper using Elmer's glue. After the design is glued on. Diana uses a handheld drill to create all the holes, she mainly uses two drill bits sizes 1/16 and 1/32 of an inch. 

 

Once all the holes are made Diana finally starts the cutting process.  

 

Some of Diana's smallest pieces are her necklaces which take a minimum of an hour to cut. Her tiny sculptures, like "Baby Nocturno" can take up to 3 hours depending on the detail. Her smaller framed copper pieces like "En Sintonia" take approximately 15 hours total and her bigger ones like "Cascade" take a maximum of 35 hours in total. Diana doesn't only hand cut the copper but also hand sands it. Cutting the copper is what takes the longest time. She does use 4 different types of blades, some help with detail and the others  help with cutting bigger areas faster. 

The more and the smaller the details are on the copper the longer it takes to drill and cut. 

"Inkblot I" Timelapse of Diana cutting a custom necklace for the band Bacchae. 

Once all the metal is cut the paper is removed from the copper. This does leave a residue which is sanded away using 400 grit sandpaper.  After the glue and big scratches are removed, Diana starts makes her way up to 2000 grit sandpaper. This will lead to a natural semi-reflective finish with just the sanding and will give the pieces a nice dome look instead of having sharp edges. After sanding the copper, is it quickly cleaned with alcohol then dried with a towel.

 

Diana uses varies polishing techniques, some which can take longer than others. After the copper has been polished the piece is then sealed with Renaissance Wax or Everbrit.

Creating this copper work takes a lot of time. From making the designs to hand cutting the copper, hand sanding and hand polishing. There is many steps to assure a nice finish which will hopefully last a few years before the copper starts to beautify patina. 

Cleaning Copper

Copper is a very beautiful material that goes into various stages of oxidization. Though that is a beautiful process some people enjoy the brightest form of copper more. Here are instructions on how to clean Diana Laura's copper jewelry or sculptures safely at home. If Diana didn't provide you with a care kit, please email her, only pieces with a reflective finish can be cleaned using the care kit. Follow the instructions below based on the finish you have:  

Abrasive/textured finish: 

- Step 1: Grab a container that is a bit bigger than the piece you want to clean. In the container poor enough vinegar to submerge the copper, followed by a pinch of salt (you don't need a lot, a little will go a long way). 

-Step 2: Take your copper jewelry and drop it into the solution, with a glove or your finger wipe away any patina marks. There might be a few areas that the vinegar can't clean, in that case, take some fine steel wool and rub it on that spot gently, that should allow the mark to go away. 

-Step 3: After cleaning the piece with vinegar and salt, rinse the piece under warm water. Then grab some soap or take 2 tablespoons of baking soda to a cup of water and give it a good wash, you don't want any vinegar or rust left over on the piece. I recommend grabbing a soft toothbrush and gently rubbing the surface of the copper. 

-Step 4: Rinse the copper under warm water ones again and immediately dry it. 

-Step 5: Seal copper with any type of sealer or for maximum texture leave it as is. 

Semi to fully reflective finishes: 

You can use the same steps as above except for the use of steel wool. Otherwise:

 

Depending on the protective coating, an anti-tarnish sealer can be cleaned with only soap and water, this will not remove the sealer just any oils or dirt that gathered on top, so be sure to brush it gently when cleaning. If it doesn't clean with just soap and water, then the copper might have patinaed underneath the protective coating. This anti-tarnish coating can only be removed with Xylene. 

If you have any copper with a wax coating, you can use the care kit and follow the instructions provided. 

Then you can coat the copper with your preferred sealer. 

If there are any questions don't be afraid to send us an email. 

Before During After - Vinegar Solution

VideoCapture_20221208-191357.jpg
VideoCapture_20221208-191406.jpg
VideoCapture_20221208-191414.jpg
bottom of page