Fallon Vachon, a sculptor, joined the Anderson Artists Guild in December (along with her mom, Michelle Liggett), and the first time she’d ever stepped into the Anderson Arts Center was for the guild’s Christmas party. Yet she left that evening with an invitation from the Arts Center to submit a proposal for a show in 2020. Vachon is eager to join a community of artists as she works towards opening her own studio.
The military has been an important part of Vachon’s life. She was born in Charleston, where her parents were stationed in the Navy, and lived all along the East Coast and in Cuba. She herself spent six years in the Air Force with the military police in Ireland, England, and Germany. And during three deployments, she was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in the Middle East. Now, this veteran is focused on making a career of art.
Her first sculpture was a dragon planter that a teacher bought for ten dollars, and she has since then sold everything she’s ever made. She was drawn to Play-Doh and inspired by Gumby to experiment with poly-type clay. She took her first sculpting class in junior high.
Today, her greatest influences are myths and legends, and the results are realistic, surrealistic, and fantastical. From mermaids to griffins to Pegasus, she starts with an idea for a scene, then builds the platform on which the statue will stand. Her new favorite medium is cold porcelain, which allows for fine details, is nontoxic, doesn’t have to be fired, and air dries as hard as enamel. “I was looking for something more durable,” she said. Her larger pieces, which can be a couple of feet long—like one of two dragons fighting on a mountaintop—can take up to a month to complete. “Details are my thing,” she said. “Everything has to be perfect, to look as real as possible, almost as if it were alive.”
She sells her work through a sea-themed art gallery in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and takes commissions, as well. She also repairs antique sculptures and is a volunteer with AVAR (American Veterans Archaeological Recovery), which uses field archaeology to help veterans transition to civilian life. She is completing her bachelor’s degree in history online through Arizona State University while teaching a sculpting class in Greenville.