Karen Atta discusses the making of the Mae Young Classic trophy
Karen Atta is back! The New York City-based sculptor behind the larger-than-life statues of WWE Hall of Famers such as Bruno Sammartino and Dusty Rhodes is also the mind behind the eye-catching trophy for the Mae Young Classic, the first four episodes of which are already streaming on the award-winning WWE Network. WWE.com visited Atta’s workshop earlier this summer, as she was putting the trophy together, to discuss the inspiration for the piece and why it wasn’t just a typical day at the office for her.
WWE.COM: Can you explain the basic concept of this statue?
KAREN ATTA: The basic concept of the statue is obviously to honor Mae Young, and to emphasize her role as a pioneer in women’s wrestling and that she, as a pioneer, shattered the glass ceiling.
It's definitely not just another day at the studio.
WWE.COM: And shattered glass is what the statue is supposed to be.
ATTA: Yes. It’s a shattered glass obelisk shape that she’s coming out of.
WWE.COM: How did you land upon that specific look?
ATTA: When I first started talking about this project with WWE, I think there were five different concepts. We narrowed it down to a couple that were more along the lines of shattering glass ceilings. Some of them were cool-looking, but they didn’t really portray that kind of image. As things progressed, it just sort of became more and more abstract, and very geometric.
WWE.COM: There’s a figure in the center of the glass. Did you model that to look like Mae Young or just a representation of women in general?
ATTA: I think it’s more a representation of every woman.
[Mae Young], as a pioneer, shattered the glass ceiling.
WWE.COM: Can you explain the differences in the process of creating something like the Hall of Fame statues and this trophy?
ATTA: The main difference in the creation of this statue is that it’s completely clear, which is a more challenging thing to do. It’s a specific type of mold that we have to make and use. In the end, it’s going to look like a luminous piece of glass. It’s going to be transparent.
WWE.COM: Did you know much about Mae Young when you started working on this project?
ATTA: Not tons. But I’ve learned a little bit about her since. And what a pioneer, you know?
WWE.COM: This is a great time for women’s wrestling, and a great time for the empowerment of women in general. Did you feel any added pressure in the course of creating this statue, or was this just another day at the office for you?
ATTA: [Laughs] I wouldn’t say I feel any added pressure in making a trophy that memorializes a woman. But it’s also definitely not just another day at the studio. Actually, it’s quite an honor to be able to participate in this whole experience, and to be part of the creation of a trophy that memorializes her.