“Just as it is adversity that hardens the spirit of a people, so can adversity strengthen the soul of a man. What we master becomes ours to use.” --Guy Gavriel KayRead this description to Understand.
To see the concept sketch for this piece, go to [link]
To see a picture of this in the greenware state, go to [link].
This is the end product of one of the most difficult experiences I have ever had in my life.
I like dealing with emotion in my work, and my most successful pieces usually have an at least partial focus on emotion. However, it has always been emotion in other people, not my own. So this is the first piece I can remember doing that deals with my emotions.
This piece is about the accident my horse and I were in a year and a half ago. We were going along a ravine and we fell in and were stuck at the bottom for almost an hour before paramedics and all of Benton County’s firefighters could figure out how to get us out (There were countless firetrucks, ambulances, and fire chief trucks that responded to one girl and horse in a hole). Anyway, to make a long story short, we were both fine physically (aside from the damaged blood vessels and nerves and bruises on my arms), but neither one of us have quite been the same since. Who can be when your life was 2 inches from ending in six different ways?
I've never been one to deal very well with emotions of any kind. I have a very bad habit of locking things away until they build up and I explode. That's pretty much what I did with this experience. I would have panic attacks about once a week or so about what had happened. I finally realized (after a panic attack 30 feet in the air) that not dealing with the pain was destroying me. I couldn't keep tucking the pain and fear away instead of coming to terms with it all, much like sticking a scene in a box and shutting it off. So I decided to tackle this memory for my final project in my ceramics class.
Technically speaking, this wasn’t a particularly difficult project to do. However, it forced me to think back and relive the accident over and over again, and remember the emotions and Joey’s screams. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in my life. The entire time I was working on this, from start to finish, I was crying and shaking.
I know this piece is a success because I can't look at it without feeling the pain of that day. But instead of sliding into a panic attack, I am calm and understanding about it. I haven't had a panic attack since I finished this project, even in situations that would have set me off before. I can think and talk about what happened without shaking, and it's one of the best feelings I can think of.
Anyway, to the technical medium mumbo-jumbo. I used the studio stoneware for this. I used leather-hard slabs to build it. Exterior has a red iron oxide wash. Joey has a white leather-hard slip and brown underglazes. Demensions are aprox. 8" in each direction. Aprox. 30 man hours to complete from start to finish.
And if you're wondering why she's the only thing with color, this is why: During the accident all I could think about was her and her well-being. My memories of the incident are centered around her and the damage it has done to her. I had already resolved myself to the fact that I was going to die so I didn't matter anymore. It was only her. That's why my leg is the same color as everything else.
Overall, I think this is the best piece I did that semester, and in a long time, come to think of it. It's definately the hardest to swallow.Here’s to locking away memories and the damage it will do.
-Written on the front cover of the piece.
This journal entry is an update on the power this piece (and art) has over me.[link]