Created: 
05/02/13

John Yeh and I installed my show "Into the Forest Primeval" at Montpelier yesterday. It is the culmination of one years work, and a very different show from previous ones.

There are twenty one pieces in all. Nine of them are free standing sculptures, not nearly as whimsical as previous work. People have commented that they are very confrontational, and I have to agree. I guess as I get old I have less patience for soft-pedalling, less time for worrying about the viewers reaction. It is what it is, they are what they are.

To make a liar of myself, the wall pieces are, at least on the surface, more light hearted. I say on the surface because they are dark images and themes couched in brightly colored feathers, beads and glazes. 

My artists statement for the show is as follows:

               

“This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, 
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, 
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, 
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. 
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean 
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


This is the forest primeval.”

 

My sculptures are from my forest primeval, a place at once intimidating and humorous. They speak for themselves, if you ask very nicely. If they refuse, I can try to elucidate, but I don’t always know the answers. After all, they are not about words, or are they?

 

Ceramic sculpture has given me a vehicle for exploring my world, inner and outer, as well as the opportunity to discover what can be revealed on both a spiritual and a tangible level through the creation of an artifact. Use of the word artifact is purposeful because, when a work is completed, I feel as I imagine an archeologist feels while when brushing away the final layer of dust or sand from an object, suddenly revealing a previously unseen treasure.

The pieces in this exhibit are built using slabs, coils and thrown pieces that are assembled and then embellished using stamps and molds of my own construction.   I generally leave some of the surface bare of color. On the remaining surface I apply stains, underglazes and glazes. After firing in either a wood fired or raku kiln, adornment is completed through the addition of materials such as feathers, wire, beads, found objects and paint. 

 

(Quote from EVANGELINE, By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)