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Oh shit, that work looks just like mine!

At one point I was crippled by the thought of redoing what has been done. It seems like someone somewhere is doing almost exactly what you are. When I made the ceramic underwear I suddenly found other artists making ceramic underwear, one became a friend across the world in Australia thanks to the wonders of social media. Then I thought to myself, artists have been painting landscapes, still lives, and figures for centuries, does that invalidate the art? Maybe I was overthinking it and just needed to move forward. We all add our own touch to the work that makes it unique to us.

This week I stumbled on work that really challenged me though. I found the work of Jane Burton. Ceramic bodices with mixed media skirts.

Look familiar? This one actually uses tulle just like mine.

My first thought was I literally wanted to throw all this work away and pretend it didn't exist. She created this work 3 years before I did and I had no idea. Fuck.

Then I thought of the landscapes, and the still life paintings, and the repetitive outdoor abstract sculptures, especially in red. So my next thought was, whatever.

I've mostly lost interest in these dress pieces even though I have about 20 bodices that still need skirts. I recently used 2 to top plant obelisks, just for fun. My husband loves this work because it's "pretty." It doesn't disturb him like my other work. Me? I'm a fan of disturbing. Let the viewer be a bit uncomfortable.

I was planning on making steel bases for these pieces exactly as she has but was still playing with the option of having them hang. Many have tiny wire loops built in for this purpose. I guess that'll separate them slightly from this work.

At any rate, I've moved on. I'm sure someone else is making ceramic underwear more like mine and that'll have to be ok. I'll just keep making and following my muse because there is nothing new under the sun.


Davidson, North Carolina, USA

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