Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Dresses 2017

I've completed two new dresses in the last couple months, no surprise, but what IS new is this bright amethyst glaze I made for dress number 46! It's pretty stunning and perfect for Spring.

And then here is Dress 47, completed today:

ALSO, I made a couple new metallic dresses the end of 2016. This glaze is pretty awesome and is the result of firing a copper-based formula in a reduction atmosphere in my electric kiln. Pretty groovy. Here is Dress 44:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wingless Victory

One of the first sculptures I made at Wellesley was a figure I titled "Wingless Victory," a dramatic piece only 10 inches in height . The original was modeled directly in wax and cast in bronze in the basement foundry of Pendleton. Lucky for me the pour was successful and I didn't end up with a formless blob for my efforts.

I didn't know how to make rubber molds then, but I do now. Here is my latest bronze cast made from the mold of the original. I learned how to do a silver patina and I love it!

At bottom is the original in a dark brown patina.

And finally here I am working on the patina in my garage studio:

Dress 38 - newly fired with a nice metallic reduction glaze

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Green: Healing Trees

I have completed a new piece this spring; a portrait bust of my husband:

Branching In, Mixed Media on Plaster, 2013

This portrait of Sam has been in the works for well over a year now. It is an allegorical representation of Sam's brain. Since Sam's stroke seven years ago we have come to know that some of the branches of his brain have died or become damaged. This sounds horrifying but we've come to live with it, and by "live" I really mean that. No more weeping and wailing, though I won't lie: we have shed many tears over this. We even joke about it sometimes.

While creating this portrait bust I thought a lot about broken things. This isn't new for me as many of the sculptures I've made over the years have been an expression of my own feelings of precious care for imperfect objects. I've never felt that something broken is beyond repair (see my postings under the Legs label).  For Sam's piece I clung to the image of a maple tree and its reputation for irrepressible generation in my homeland of New England.

Edward Simmons (1852-1931)
A July Afternoon, Lyme, 1906
Oil on board

Over 100 years ago along Connecticut's coastline the forests were cleared significantly for farming. You were generally able to look out to sea from small rises in the land not far from the coast. If you look at the paintings of Childe Hassam and his buddies like Edward Simmons of the Lyme Art Colony who painted in Old Lyme, you will see wide vistas of fields often overlooking the sea. This blew me away when I first saw these paintings at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. I grew up in a different place than what Hassam saw.

Back Yard, Hickory Lane, acrylic on paper, 1994
Front Yard, Hickory Lane, acrylic on paper, 1994

My Connecticut was and still is a verdant "jungle" of maples and brambly thickets. You had to work hard to make trees NOT overtake your lawn or squeeze out the sunlight from a painstakingly cleared garden plot. Our lawn mower sheered the prolific spread of maple saplings not just grass. And you could be near the coastline and not know it was there for the thick cover of trees. The current forests of Connecticut are thicker than when European settlers came and all for the determined and unchecked behavior of maples and other species that have reclaimed yesterday's farmland for their own.

I love the story of trees and the symbol they are to me of survival. While this sculpture is about my longing to heal Sam it is more about the brain's miraculous ability to do its own work. Like a tree it tries to repair itself on its own and in its own time frame. Let the forest's quiet branching resume.

This new piece is on view at the Rio Gallery's "Tin" exhibit curated by Jared Clark, opening tomorrow May 17:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Metaphorical Jump

"Lava Jumping" is finished. This installation is in my own home. I started the process of getting it installed months ago. After painting each pair of legs and poking many many holes in the wall I am finally done. The prospect of living with this installation made me extremely picky about the work's placement and colorings.

I didn't want the legs to chance snagging backpacks and hair alike. I also needed to have them high enough that toddler hands could not grab them. I only wish I had a way to protect our Christmas tree in a similar way. This spot at the end of my hallway/stairwell turned out to have the most clearance and visual impact. It can be seen from the front door.

I believe the colors I chose reflect my family and my children. My boys are active, warm, laughing, and passionately interested in many things. Fire for example. And I'm including my big "boy" Sam here. My eight year old inherited this fascination from him to the extent that on his first day of Kindergarten a couple years back he wrote that his "first day jitters" were about the earth crashing into the sun. Cute, huh?

And so I dedicate this installation to my sons who frequently jump lava and other fantastical flames in their daily adventures. (My jumping is limited to clearing backpacks and wheeled objects).

Moving Earth

Sam and I have been busy this fall shaping a little bit of extra-Eden, our .18 acres of it. Sam pushes earth with his shovel. I stack things on top of things.

The far left section will house a greenhouse/cold frame to extend our growing season. The ground has been excavated in preparation for its concrete footings. He has also prepared the earth for a cement pad to go under a tool shed. This is the spot seen up against our foundation on the left hand/garage edge of the house.

Greenhouse foundation on left. Shed is to be located behind it up against the house foundation.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Installation at Home

I am installing a series of 44 leaping and running legs in the hallway of my home. With two active boys and all their friends zipping in and out each day I figured it was about time.

I'm feeling really happy with the addition of color to these legs as well. They are lively and gleaming, like a fire's flame.

I will post the finished install on the wall when it is done.

Legs lined up and ready to be attached to the wall. You can see the "template" I taped to the end wall which will aid me in getting them mounted just right.