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       It all begins with drawings.  "We are the body/the boat/and the water" piece is in 3 sections, each one about a different residency experience at Archie Bray. As I approach my return to the Bray in 2024, I am reflecting on the journey. My concept is a three-part boat form.  Clay practice has truly been the boat that carries the story of my life, and each decade has brought me back to the Bray, in another capacity.


Repost from @thecolorsculptor

Packing up for the Bray!! trying not to pinch myself too often. I’ll be there for April, looking forward to seeing old friends and new. Find me in the studio. “The Invited Visiting Artist in Residence is a short term curated partnership between an established artist and The Bray. The Visiting Artist is provided a private studio space, in proximity to The Bray Resident Artists, to realize and conceive new work and projects while engaging in shared on-site resources and a lively creative atmosphere.”

My first AIR was at Archie Bray, Summer 2002; I was Writer in Residence, 2011, and will return for the third time in as many decades in April 2024. I will spend the time creating a three-part site-specific sculpture that will be permanently installed on the grounds. This is a tremendous honor! I’m planning to make a piece called “We are the body/the boat/and the water” about love and loss, creative community, and my (so far) seven decade journey.
Image: Tea at Archie Bray, my sited piece from 2002 to present.

       As writer-in-residence I quoted Peter Schjeldahl who says, "Ceramic practice is so rich in exchange and collaboration that is has long been characterized as a conversation. " I look forward to that conversation and to the inherent collaboration and inspiration the Bray residency provides. Nonetheless, new ideas about responding to the experience with a piece about the meaning of Archie Bray in my life and work are insisting upon having their say. These are my drawings thus far.


From sketches to sculpture! today's studio session is the realization of the central figure in terracotta clay. It's an exciting, mysterious n wonderful challenge. 2011 was writer in residence. 

Detail, central figure in 'We are the body/the boat/and the water' with water lines and some color. Today the entire piece begins drying, uncovered. Firing scheduled for the big Blaauw kiln!

Figures are finished, will add some more color, then drying for the kiln firing. 2002, summer residency; 2011, writers residency, 2024, guest artist residency inspired the allegorical sculpture 'We are the body/the boat/and the water' from the eponymous poem. The visual narrative uses the increasing immersion of the figures over time. It's been intense, wonderful and especially rewarding to be part of the current Bray community. So much powerful, individual work up in here!!!

Why make the central figure first? it was intuitive, and now I can see how it informs both the others. 

Spending some time with WBBW. Not for the first or last time, I'm thinking about how beneath every sculpture lie dozens of sculptures we will never see again. This figure represents now, this very work period back at the Bray, a place filled with meaning and memory. Unlike its two predecessors, it's nearly submerged in the current, reflecting upon it, becoming part of it. Rainer Maria Rilke talks about making things as "realities that arise from the craft itself." He's right.

We're rolling now! had some problems with the bases drying unevenly but finally they're ready for color.

Making all the parts can be challenging indeed, so getting to assemble them now is a lovely reward. More to come

Rolling down the hallway to the kiln room!!! so excited about tomorrow's kiln loading.

The 3 figures are finished; their arms and legs extend down into the water and are, physically, part of the bases. See the maquette, second image. I'm using Mission Red, a beautiful terracotta sculpture mix by Laguna Clay, responding to the brick architecture n history at the Bray. Each figure represents a different work period, 2002, 2011 n 2024. It's been an intensive n meaningful project. Love & thx to everyone

Front section of "We are the body/the boat and the water." Shown in the kiln awaiting transport to the installation site this morning. This figure represents my summer residency at Archie Bray, 2002. What I wanted: a sense of forward motion, the refraction of limbs underwater, an eagerness for the future ahead. What I got: changes and challenges, new solutions and a profoundly rewarding experience as a 2024 visiting artist.


We are the body / the boat / and the water. Love the placement in front of the Shaner studio where I worked, looking forward to seeing it through the seasons. New buds on the tree seem just right for the first day of installation. Three figures about three different residency experiences across three decades, each one a profound and lasting inspiration and valued connection with another creative community. Honored, humbled and quite overwhelmed. love & thanks to everyone! May all our journeys be fruitful.

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