As my hands were healing from the overuse experienced at the glass shop, I realized I couldn’t just not-do anything. I need to be making. There were ideas underway in my sketchbooks that I had visualized completing in glass. But with the combined physical and financial restrictions I was facing, I knew I had to look at these ideas again and try to find a new way to explore the concepts.

I first turned to paper and wax because I knew I could achieve some transparency (and who doesn’t love the smell of melted beeswax wafting through their work space?). As much fun as it was to create these forms, they lacked the solidity that glass would provide. I decided to return to an early love, clay. I wasn’t sure if my hands would be up to it, but there was only one way to find out.

Luckily, a friend with a clay studio was offering open studio sessions. So, there I sat with my lump of clay.  It was cool, grey and pliant. I push and pulled my fingers across the surface. I dug them in a bit. I squeezed. It felt so good. Tenderly, I started exploring the forms I wanted to create. I could see them emerging almost instantly. Yes!

Slowly, I refined the forms, wrapped them in plastic and waited for my next chance to visit the studio.  Now several figures have been completed. The surfaces have been burnished with silver spoons, smoothing and darkening them. Here is a photo of the first few in progress. I can wait to see them when they come out of the kiln.

Only the darkest one has been burnished so far.

Only the darkest one has been burnished so far.

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