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After much fermenting, the dress sculpture comes together

This is a week of finishing things. Physically handling some of my unfinished pieces seems to have triggered inspiration. A vintage dress I bought last year in a very faded yellow informed me it could easily be dyed with turmeric. It was right and I was able to match the underglaze flowers on my ceramic bodice perfectly. I had attached wire loops to the base of the bodice and sewed it on by hand. It pleaded to have some embellishment. Continuing with what I had started with a smaller piece, Blöde Kuh, I found a chicken pattern. I was contemplating adding a sexist German proverb but decided less is more. The inside label of the bodice reads Dumme Huhn, dumb hen, a common German insult for a

Salvaging that which is broken

It was laying there for months, in pieces. I used some epoxy to get it back together but the other side didn't quite match up. There was a beauty to it though. The bisque ceramic texture has been growing on me. It has an innocence to it, potential, almost a virginity. I wasn't ready to give up on it. I let it lay there a few more weeks. Yesterday I cleaned my studio, vowing to throw out random bits of ceramic work that I knew wasn't ever going to be anything. I was tired of it nagging at me, weighing on me. I hung a few underwear pieces to give them a space, to contemplate them. This piece wanted to be hung as well. That's how I created it, to look as if it were casually hung on the wall. As

An Exercise in Futility

I 've been focusing on improving my craft which is directly tied to patience. I'm impatient by nature. I want to see a piece done. Once I have it sorted out, I begin to lose interest. This creates much unfinished work and skills almost mastered. Jane of all trades, master of none. I know this about myself and work on improving this "opportunity." This was why I went to welding school after my B.F.A. I didn't want to be one of those metal artists with shitty welds. I worked hard on learning how to make a beautiful bead. Then I worked as a TIG welder until I was bored out of my mind with the monotony of crafting one tiny perfect seam of stainless steel after another. Now I'm taking a ceramics 

But what about sculpture?

While all this painting has been going on, my sculpture mind has been fermenting. I mull over things. I sit. I wait. I'm following several threads of thought in my sculpture and sometimes after some mulling I abandon them before I get too deep into it, literally sometimes as work, finished and unfinished clogs up my studio. I'm also on hiatus as the Arts Center where I fire my work is on holiday break. I have one Trump underwear piece waiting patiently for me to buy a diamond drill bit as the lacing holes fused with glaze during the second firing. I've been procrastinating on this forever because Lowe's is exhausting. Plus I'll get distracted by odd bits of hardware I'll buy because they may

Painting scares me

I notice every painting starts with fear for me. My inner critic is pretty harsh when it comes to painting. I envision her looking like Otto Dix’s portrait of journalist Sylvia von Harden blowing cigarette smoke at me as she tells me my work is shit. Strangely, I don’t feel this way when I work on sculpture. Every sculpture starts with excitement, my inner critic for it is more like a feisty Louise Bourgeois prodding me to work and see what happens. The joy is in the doing whether the piece is successful or not. A shitty painting however is a thing of shame that haunts me forever. I haven't painted for a week or so since my son came to visit for Christmas and I let him camp out in my studio.

 

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Davidson, North Carolina, USA

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