Donna Weaver lives in a classic revival house on the Ohio River in Indiana built in 1836. Her studio is in a large room built originally as the library.
Miniature wax portraits executed in bas-relief were popular from the mid 18th century until the popularization of photography in the 1840ís. The portraits were intended for reproduction for the sitter in small quantities by use of a plaster mold, but larger quantities were made of popular heroes. The finished portrait was mounted on reverse painted glass, wax covered plaster or a sheet of wax and then framed.
Adhering to the high sculptural standards of portraiture in the 18th and early 19th century, Donna recreates the look, color and scale of the earlier wax portraits. In beginning a portrait, she refers to art of the time, searching for paintings, drawings and sculpture of the person to be portrayed.
Weaver divides her time between sculpting wax portraits of historical figures and participating in living history events from Virginia to Indiana. She also accepts assignments to recreate two dimensional art works from the early 19 century. She is a retired sculptor/engraver for the United States Mint. While there she worked on many significant projects in circulating and commemorative coinage and Congressional Gold medals. She now is part of the Mintís Artistic Infusion program and designs for specific coinage projects.