In the early 1930's, Isabel spent 2 summers at the Stone City Art Colony in central Iowa, carving limestone under the watchful eye of America's great regionalist artist, Grant Wood. While there, Isabel met another soon-to-be accomplished young artist, John Bloom, whom she married in 1938. (Some of John's original artwork is displayed in the Heritage Room of our East Davenport Studio Store.)
While sculpting in her new Davenport home and raising 3 young sons, Isabel accepted the challenge of communicating in the new medium of live television. As host of the children's program, "Let's Make Believe," Isabel modeled, dressed and used clay figurines of her own design to illustrate the stories she told. A short art lesson concluded each program. Isabel's insightful observations of children became the driving inspiration of her career as a sculptor.
Isabel's experimentation with the reproduction of her clay sculptures led to the development of the unique concrete casting and finishing process still used to create each Isabel Bloom statue. Hand-finished to resemble weathered bronze Victorian-era garden sculptures, Isabel was now able to produce multiple pieces for sale.
These early sculptures soon gained popularity with the customers of a Chicago gift store named Hoops. The increasing demand gave Isabel the confidence to move her studio from home into rented quarters in the Village of East Davenport. To increase production, Isabel also traded her mortar box and trowel for the little red cement mixer that became her pride and joy - and a fixture in her studio - for the next 30 years.
Today, the creation of Isabel Bloom sculpture rests in the talented hands of designer Donna Young, Isabel's protege and artistic collaborator since 1986.