Friday, May 29, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

I've been having fun - going through photos of masks past. This one is from 2002 and seemed a good fit for a Friday that's arrived on the heels of summer. I used to do a lot more harlequins, and I still do make a few small ones, but they just aren't as interesting to me anymore. That is probably because I've done just about all I can do with them (for now). At the moment, and for quite some time, nature, nurture and dreams have taken center stage.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Half Empty or Half Full?

How we look at things really does matter: it can make the difference between feeling good or bad, ascending or descending, too much or not enough and on and on and on. When I look around and see my life as half full, there is hope. In those darker moments, when I see it as half empty, I question my very existence. At this point, the choice becomes clear: half full is enough...

I pierced this mask all over to imply leakage - and this in turn implies that one starts out full.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bored Game

The older I get, the less time I have for games. This mask is a manifestation of my lack of tolerance and a not so subtle statement about the nature of games. I know that we're programmed early on to be participants, but there comes a moment when you or I must say: Enough, already! I've reached that point and now must decide how to live the rest of my life.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Glaze test Friday - 3

And so, it's Friday again and I thought I'd post a couple of tests from this week. Tests are about all I've been doing lately, but next week I must get serious about starting some full size pieces.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I think of inspiration as something that is always there, hovering just outside of consciousness. All that I need to do to reach it is to relax and let it settle in place. For, isn't it everywhere? And if it is (as I believe it is), then one must only have a receptive mind to find it. Then, of course, what we do with that which is always there is another story - and one that I will need to address very soon....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Out of the Woodwork

I've done many pieces with a face either emerging or blending in with a tree. I use the tree as a symbol for many things, including growth, hiding, vulnerability, strength and solidity. Here it is meant as a metaphor suggesting emergence - or shedding the exterior force that holds one back.

And so, here I sit....waiting for the branches and the bark to fall in a heap all around me....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here?

This is the follow up piece to "Which Came First?" (shown a few days ago) and it too poses a question. Once we're here, then what??? So many choices, so many directions are possible - but what happens when you arrive at a crossroad? I'm asking these questions now because it's where I find myself and I'm puzzling through a load of options. I love making and sharing the masks, but it feels as if I'm working inside a vacuum: I've been sucked up and everything is whirling around inside. It must be time to empty the bag, but I'm not quite sure how to do that.

Yes, it's a difficult time, but I'm certain that it will pass - and soon, I hope......

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Center of the Universe

Aren't we each the center of our own special universe? If not, it seems like we should be! Of course, that doesn't mean that others don't matter or aren't important - it's just that we need to recognize our own uniqueness. If we can value ourselves for what we are, then it seems that we might be more likely to appreciate the special qualities of others....

This mask is a very early piece - probably nine or ten years old. Heck, it's not even a teenager yet!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Half Wit, Half What....

Continuing with the "Fool" this week - guess I'm in a foolish mood! Last week, I re-viewed the Kurosawa film "Ran". There's a wonderful fool in that picture: he's always at the King's side and often makes cutting, witty remarks that warrant him needing to be quick to dodge the whacks. A loveable and yet painfully honest fellow. That's how I like to think of my own inner fool - but without the whacks.....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fool's Paradise

I borrowed some imagery in this piece! If you couldn't tell, it's from Rousseau and his wonderful primitive gardens. For this mask and the series of pieces that followed, I sculpted and carved the original face, then made a mold to create others. Especially when there is intricate carving done, a mold can be quite useful and time saving! This particular mask was cast with earthenware slip, sculpted upon and then bisque fired. I used underglazes to color the different areas - then gave it a final firing. The finishing is with pencils.

There have been many fools created in my studio and perhaps I am the biggest fool of all. But, seriously, I enjoy making them for they are (for me) symbolic of everything lighthearted and of the kind of wisdom that exists in simplicity.....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Glaze test Friday - 2

Here are two more recent glaze tests. In a way, they cancel each other out, but I can't ever seem to show (or make) a devilish piece without some sort of balance. The sweeter mask is named "A Watchful Eye" and its task is to keep an eye on "In Sheep's Clothing"......
I find myself somewhere in between the two!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Which Came First?

Here's a mask from my "archives" - meaning it's another blast from the past! It marks a beginning of my egg pieces and nearly the end of my work with lowfire, earthenware clay. I'm still using the egg as a symbol but have abandoned the earthenware in favor of stoneware, sculpture and porcelain clays.

The eternal question that this mask asks is eternally puzzling to me: not so much because it's a question that can't be answered, but because I wonder why we ask it...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Carried Away

I just got "carried away" with this piece and had a bit of fun. No great message or deep meaning here, just a comment on how important it is to let oneself go sometimes. I'm guilty of being far too serious most of the time so, occasionally, I take off that mask and wear the more frivolous one. I grant myself permission because I know that balance is a good thing.....

Monday, May 4, 2009


When I was a child, my mother was always telling me that I would "lose my head if it wasn't screwed on". I don't remember being especially prone to losing things.......perhaps she was warning me of what was to come! At this point in my life, losing and forgetting are daily tests - and I'm on my way to school naked and unprepared. Lightheaded is my version of keeping my head where it belongs, even if it is a bit emptier than it should be.....

Friday, May 1, 2009

Glaze test Friday

I thought I'd show some of my glaze tests today. I use these to test my engobes and glazes and to try out different ideas. I don't always make bigger pieces based on these, but often I get new directions from the results. These little guys are some of the latest out of the studio and I'm thinking of making this a regular Friday feature. Yes, I've got a lot in the works!
They do have names also:
top - A Rosy Outlook
middle - Bewitched and Bewildered
bottom - Simon Says...
Till Monday, adieu....