Monday, June 20, 2016

"Skinny Piglet Aching for Love" and Other New Work

"Skinny Piglet Aching for Love"  was the first I had used clay for sculpture since I was high school.  That's a long enough time ago that it felt new, or at least new/old.  What is really new is incorporating clay into my mixed media work, allowing it to be part of found-object assemblage, and making use of color with it.

I got a kick out of mounting Skinny Piglet clinging to his block of hope on a record that rests on a turntable that can be gently rotated.  The record came from this album, and is titled "Get Happy."

Objects have power, even when unseen.  Although the label on the record is obscured,  I like to think that as the record slowly turns, Skinny Piglet is not merely in a rut, going around in circles, but rather tuning in to the "Get Happy" musical message...

In "Swimmingly"  my little clay fish is mounted on a small propeller, one of many wonderful objects I inherited from a fellow Dumpster Diver who was cleaning out her studio.  So sanguine!

"Dragon Tale" makes use of a container for slides.  We artists who remember the days of having to take slide photographs of our work, look at it on light boxes and through magnifying loops, and submit slides to enter exhibits are truly dragons.  This dragon has tales to tell and steadfastly guards that history.

"Packs Easily"  pays homage to my Jewish women ancestors, whose prayers were often informal, in between caring for children, scrubbing clothes, and other household tasks.  This grandmother is holding the Book of Psalms in her lap.  As with today's refugees of all faiths, prayers of the heart pack easily.

Although the dog is glazed, the grandmother figure is the first time I experimented with painting bisqued clay with acrylic only.  I love the possible effects and will explore this more.

I am grateful for Sharon Bartmann's class, 'Ceramics: Breaking the Rules' at Main Line Art Center, which was the genesis for this new direction, and for her invaluable guidance.  The synergy between the people in the group is incredible and I will be back in the Fall.  It works well to play with clay in the class and to finish and assemble the work at home.


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