Archive for the ‘Creative Process’ Category

Hi, I’m Carrot!

July 21, 2019

carrot prelm

Hi, I’m Carrot! This is a big one, about 23 inches tall, I think. It was inspired by a Mothers Day gift of collaged tarot cards that my daughter made. She is such a muse for me! “Carrot” here is the fool archetype. I added the book…. So s/he’s a cat dressed up as a rabbit of sorts and rather than read the book, s/he stands on it. The fool has ways of knowing other than academic and intellectual approaches. The fool is intuitive and doesn’t even know how wise s/he is. S/he blunders the way to good fortune.

Akio sculpture clay, white slip, various underglazes, incised, then bisque fired. Oxide and underglaze washes, glazes and underglazes, fired again, then inked to bring out the crackle.


July 21, 2019

Like the seasons, one thing leads to another and back again. This is my image vocabulary at work. There again is how “Spring” came about. An image of hand painted flowers from Raw Vision Magazine (one of my fave publications) captured my attention. It looked painterly and raw. It led to this series of dresses, also a recurring theme for me. Bring in the pigtail girl, too. Illustrating the surfaces with underglazes and incising with an exacto knife became the methodology of the next series of pieces: colorful, fun to do, feminine. I’ve been wanting to apply this surface treatment to pots again for ages. Pots as in bowls and plates. I will get to it!


July 21, 2019

Shrine truth sacrifice transformation

I made this shrine for myself in the May 2019 Shrine workshop. The top figure is a Black Madonna, symbol of a down-to-earth goddess. The other figures are guardians. Like most pieces I make, it was based on intuitive choices from a collage. During the time I was finishing the piece and getting ready to photograph it, I was reading “Dancing in the Flames” by Marion Woodman, a Jungian analyst. In it she discusses the earthy goddess archetype (Black Madonna) and the horned wild man archetype and how these two must unite symbolically in the psyche for wholeness. Well, that’s my simplified version of her ideas. But anyway, there they were in this shrine! It was an odd moment of startling synchronicity and one of those times one realizes there is so much more going on than is apparent in conscious awareness.

Darkness, darkness

June 29, 2019

basq collage

This is another section of the collage mentioned previously. The main image here was supposedly a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, or perhaps it was just inspired by his work. I lost the caption. In either case, it was something I associated with him and it has a lot of energy for me. I related to it on a feeling level (chaotic, disassociated, uncentered, vulnerable), but also intellectually challenged, my interest piqued, and tried to bring some of this into the clay piece it inspired, below.

basquiat box

The tangled guy is like a different aspect of the problem. He’s so preoccupied with being tangled up in his rope (in his head), he doesn’t see anything else. In the process of making the piece in clay and string, I realized I had the power to take that rope and wind it up in neat loops and set it aside (or use it to lasso another idea).



Ravenous Heart

June 29, 2019

Ravenous Heart reshot

My clay work often comes out of collages. The collage is a reflection of the psyche. It invites the unconscious to reveal itself, like a dream. Like dreams, the images come in service to health and healing.

The girl with the heartberries was the central image of my collage. It was the first aha in the collage-making process.

This piece, Ravenous Heart, was one of the first images I made in clay in response to the collage. It’s a massive understatement to say that it was (and is) very revealing! My teacher, Coeleen Kiebert, always said, and I’ve echoed through the years, it’s good to get these things out where you can look at them! I hope the title tells the story.

Heartberries: it starts with a collage

June 29, 2019

This is the center section of the collage: A girl in pink with huge goblet full of strawberries. She holds one. She stares into space, contemplating, daydreaming, imagining. She contemplates each one of these berries then puts it into the big woven basket. Each berry represents an idea, something worth considering, perhaps something to represent in clay. One at a time. Hundreds of them.

Behind her is the open red door, the way to and from the mysteries and histories of her heart. She has come out of the open door; she contemplates berries; she will go back inside with a little more understanding.

I encountered the name “heartberries” some months after making this collage, reading a book of the same name, then encountered it again in a wonderful book called Braiding Sweetgrass. Both books are by Native American women; strawberries are heartberries.

The door is in the basement of a church. This I recognized from a dream. The basement of a church is where the work gets done. It’s all hands on, a foundation for what’s upstairs. It’s for people who maintain things, make and share food, take out the garbage, teach the children. Authentic spiritual work.

From here, “Heartberries” take several forms, both in collaged images and clay pieces over a period of months.heartberry collage

Story Shirt

July 24, 2018

story shirt

Another piece that originated in the March workshop. See blog post of 3/27/18. The piece is 29″ x 15″ x 12″.


July 24, 2018

Listen tapir bird

Here’s the piece that started with the collage from the March workshop. The bird is an Oystercatcher. It’s sitting on the baby tapir’s back, whispering in its ear. 20″ x 16″ x 9″

Looking Back, Moving Forward

April 22, 2018

Looking back moving forward

The threat is passed, but not forgotten. She’s still alert to dangers. Her trusty instinctual steed can be counted on to move her forward even as it steps off the log that bridges “then” and “now”. See the sketch for this piece on “Image Journal” post.


April 22, 2018

ferrying 2

This is the last of the “Foreign Bodies” body of work. Two tigers ferry the remains of the invaders as new life springs forth from them.

ferrying detail