mixed media

mixed media – clay, shards, horse hair, metal

I have been surrounded by various cultures well-grounded in their identity.  during my college years it really hit home when I developed culture-phobia.  I thought then — I had no culture — at least not a recent one that was founded on 1000-year old histories.

Acoma Pueblo and Mary Lewis Garcia had a huge impact on my creative expression.  Through Mary, I was exposed to the Acoma tradition of pottery making.  One aspect was grinding 1000-year old pottery shards (ancestors) and mixing the granules into the clay we dug ourselves.  I would hold each shard and wonder about its history, about the person who made the pot and what the day was like then.  I started researching my own ancestral heritage mix of Saxon, Swedish, Scots, Welsh.

From this journey. my metal constructions came to be — simulating broken pottery, actually using broken pottery, mixing with horse hair and other materials, creating my own language.

Pueblo pottery making with Acoma potter Mary Lewis Garcia — daughter of Lucy Lewis.
Here she is showing us how to grind grog for the clay. The grinding stone she is using were handed down to her by her mother.
***Photo is copyright by me and may not be sold or used outside myself – as per Mary’s request

Mata Ortiz process of making pottery — one of the many differences between this process and Acoma, is burnishing the exterior with oil.
Clay, brass wire and horse hair.
The Dance – cave art comes to life
I was thinking a lot about my own ancestry – pre-bronze age. I wanted the metal to resemble potter shards, so I etched them first in an acid bath – the same as you would create an Intaglio plate. Then I drew the shapes on the brass and copper and cut them out to resemble broken pottery, filed, soldered in some places — added a bit of patina and burned look.
They are stitched together with wire.
Horse hair was added, raw turquoise stones, porcupine quills
and fly fishing feathers.
Don Quixote
pottery shard with cast bronze and horse hair
I wanted to see what would happen if I cast bronze around a shard – what would it want to say — in the process I was thinking about my own ancestry from Sweden.
The above lead to below

These are composed of 2 separate sculptures –
There is so much you can do with analog photography and a 35mm.
The lens was removed and flipped, so it went backwards, and focused by moving the camera forward and back = the lens has to be held snug to the camera.
The process creates an emotive bokeh.