Recently I created work for Union College, NY on a joint project with several professors. They excavated clay credited to be over 10,000 years old, and asked me to create ceramic pieces that represented work produced in New York during that glacial period. I created four pieces of work. One was a sculpture of the Venus Figurine from Dolni Vestonice, now the Czech Republic, which actually dated 27,000 years ago, produced in the first kiln site known. I chose to start with this ceremonial piece as it represented artwork that could have been made in any prehistoric society. I then produced two small pinch pots, similar to the first bowls made by human hands, and then one coil pot, reflecting pottery made for storing foodstuffs and later on, cooking. Along with the artwork, I contributed historical documentation referring to these pieces. The exhibit is on permanent display on the third floor of the Olin Building, Union College, Union Street, Schenectady, NY, 12308-3107.
PERMANENT ARCHEOLOGY EXHIBIT
UNION COLLEGE, SCHNECTADY, NY
FULL DAY, 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
FINDING MY VOICE
For 46 years, I was a potter and sculptor, enjoying a consummate relationship with clay. In 2018 I had a horrific back incident that took a month to recover, this was short, compared to a previous one in 2016 that took four months to heal. I have had back problems since I was 25 years old. I finally succumbed to the inevitable; I decided to retire from functional pottery making and selling- but could never retire from being an artist. I had planned for this day for five years, and I began working in a new medium- painting on canvas as well as continuing ceramic sculpture. I realized that my paintings would reflect the sculptural identity I have pursued for these 46 years, so I began exploring “shaped canvases” I am continuing working with ceramic wall sculptures and 3D figures; my clay sculptures have metallic patinas. As my canvas paintings are developing with a shaped canvas form on top of the flat canvas, I am marrying my sculptural sensitivities with an acrylic canvas. I found that I can play with color in a new way. Although I am constantly learning the possibilities of new techniques, I had one thing conquered-I had my Voice.
Your voice is the element that makes your work your own. It is your essence, your means of expression; some call it the soul of your work. For me, my voice is the joining of my eyes with my heart through my hands. I found my voice when I was in my thirties, and from then on I spent my life sharing my voice with others through many avenues-sculpture, pottery, writing and teaching.
Once you find your voice, it flows from your inner being, traversing years. Content changes with life’s journey, but context, or, the structure that embraces your true self, endures.