I mentioned previously that Kathleen Dustin will be curating an exhibition of polymer clay sculpture at the Fuller Craft Museum. I won’t let the cat all the way out of the bag but I have seen a preliminary list of invitees, and this looks to be a show to remember. I will say that I am very proud to have been included on that list, and it takes my mind back to the larger forms I stopped working on several years ago when I made a conscious decision to focus my work on jewelry.
Jewelry and beadmaking has been a fruitful and rewarding path and one I intend to continue on, but it is exciting to be thinking in terms of non-wearable sculpture again. It’s another adventure as I return to old places and ponder the paths yet unexplored. My initial thinking is involving wire form armatures and botanical forms. I have also always been very inspired by Pier Voulkos’s spiny balloon forms and the possibilities of using air as an armature to create, support and maintain the shape of sculptural work.
Of course, exposure to the Steampunk Treehouse, and it’s fantastic team of metalsmiths has me thinking about steel, traditional craftsmanship, rust and motion, and the bigger picture–for art, community, economy, ecology, and humanity. My work has always been to create objects of an ideal beauty, things that connect the beholder to all of creation, and to every individual who can share that pure experience. Certain natural and human artifacts have the power to pull you out of your head and out of consensus reality and into the moment–into a moment of direct connection to the now and to the chain of creation. Engaging in this creative process I feel an intimate association with natural history and future possibility. At the same time, it is difficult to resist the temptation to reach out into the world of shared human reality and comment.
I have always avoided political content in my work, prefering instead to explore the common ground of the beauty of the natural world. These are extraordinary times though, and everything must evolve, individuals, humanity, and no less my art work. I welcome the opportunity to engage with larger themes as I work with larger forms. Jewelry making is a very personal process, often quite solitary, and most directly creates connection between the wearer and the maker. Sculpture is an invitation to the world to participate in a piece of work. It might be picked up and held, climbed on and walked into, and generally felt by more people in a larger way and more community oriented fashion. I am honored for the opportunity and inspired by the possibilities. Much thanks to Kathleen and to the Fuller Craft Museum for organizing the show.
What: The working title of the exhibition is Sculpting Color in Your Hands. “Organized by Fuller Craft Museum and curated by Kathleen Dustin, this exhibition will include a variety of large scale forms, including sculpture, furniture, wall pieces, and installations by leading artists who are pushing the qualities of polymer clay.
When: August 8th through November 22, 2009
Where: The Daniel Tarlow Gallery of the Fuller Craft Museum, “Located in Brocton Massachusets, Fuller Craft Museum is New Englands only museum of contemporary craft. Fuller Craft is a dynamic environment where craft is experienced through exhibitions, education, outreach and collaboration. We explore the materials, techniques, and artistic expressions that challenge the perception of craft, while honoring the achievements of the past. www.fullercraft.org