PortfolioCeramics – Sculpture

Sculptural Ceramics

Jan’s personal studio ceramic work is hand built, figurative and symbolic. Clay is her choice for a meditative medium and her ceramic figures contemplate subjects, symbolically, from Hurricane Katrina to Eve to Alzheimers to bathers to Koshare, the sacred clowns of the Pueblo people..

  • Kali from Mandala: Ceramic body mask, formed with clay coils pressed into a plaster mould cast from a clay-modelled torso, fired first in an electric kiln and then smoked in a trash can with shredded paper

  • Kali’s body mask split improvisationally, but so much in character. Her skirt is hand crocheted of velvet yarn, with hair extensions as tassles, and the front apron of charred bones that were donated by a teacher of anatomy from a local college.

  • Domesticity has a skirt of pattern pieces and apron of linen handkerchiefs. In the background is Procreation which has a skirt of hemp and leather ropes and feathers.

  • Procreation, Domesticity and Kali with another body mask in the background “Blonde Ambition”

  • The backside of each body mask is a niche filled with interpretive forms. Procreation has a knitted lining filled with eggs of different sizes, and Domesticity is filled with the detritus of homelife.

  • Detail of the back side of Domesticity suggests everything a woman/mother must be

  • Seduction is the equivalent of a shiney new convertible rolled into a flamego dancer and geisha.

  • detail of Seduction showing laces, beads, ribbons, tassles and a fan

  • “Forgetting to Remember – Alzheimers Among Us” (2007) clay, keys, drawing on paper ribbon Display Dimensions (H/W/D): 6’x3’x 2.5’: When our brains no longer allow us access to our memories, who do we become? Are we like the infants we were before we knew how to do things for ourselves, before we had acquired experiences to remember? This strange reversal of mind effects 10% of the population over 65, and 50% of the population over 85. It is important to understand it, and to support development of effective treatments for both the “departing” individual and their families.

  • The installation includes a self portrait in stoneware with a variety of keys from Jan’s homes. The paper ribbon that emanates from the mouth has a written and drawn autobiographical account that begins with a child’s scrawls, develops into personal history which degenerates to confusion and fragments, and finally just a word, a doodle, silence.

  • Detail of the apothecary jar that holds the paper ribbon covered with personal history, and keys that have fallen from their place in the head, where memory can no longer be accessed.

  • “Balance” (2005)

    Seeking a place to live between excess and lack

    I have been studying the Tao te Ching for several years. Lao-Tzu’s treatise on how to live offers great advice for every question and situation, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation of this 6th century BC philosophy is a joy to discover.

    After Confucius’s death, his philosophy became the fundamental order of Chinese society. The Confucian Li (Code of Ethics) is the Chinese an equivalent of our Ten Commandments. The first five ideas concern the individual’s conduct, last three concern the individual’s conduct in the group. Theoretically, if all are practiced, the result is balance and harmony.

    The Confucian Li are:

    Yi Righteousness, Loyalty to Friends
    Li Order, Playing Your Role
    Zhi Wisdom
    Xin Trustworthiness
    Xiao Respect, Courtesy
    Zhong Loyalty to Country
    Shu Reciprocity, Decency, Grace

  • Eve

  • Eve Detail Hand

  • Eve Detail Face

  • Hairrinser

  • Hairrinser in Garden

  • Spirit of Reconciliation

  • She-Koshare

  • Meiosis: This series of masks reflects on our relationship with our children. Jan wrote, “At first it is as though you share the same breath. Then they begin to have their own ideas and push away Next, you hardly know them. If this is natural, why am I so sad?”