[Clayart] A few morning meanderings

Deborah Thuman via Clayart clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Tue Oct 6 12:27:40 EDT 2015

Never have I appreciated clay and art as much as I do right now. My mother passed away. I’m shocked to discover how upsetting it is to lose someone who had nothing but hatred for me. It’s okay - you can keep reading. This isn’t group therapy and I’m not going into details. At least not details about my mother. 

I’m flying into Buffalo later this week for the service. I’m not looking forward to it; I’m the black sheep. That’s okay. When Jim and I visited the Falkland Islands, I bought yarn which had been spun from the fleece of a black sheep. It’s a gorgeous, warm shade of brown. The socks I made from it are pretty warm, too. 

I’ve been making emotional art for years. I don’t know why, but I frequently can’t determine what I’m feeling until I get those feelings put into clay or fabric. I guess that’s why it’s called art therapy. Over the years, I’ve made a couple dozen female figure sculptures. Most are self-portraits. I’ve got one about half built now. I’ve got the body and the face figured out. The arms are still vague shadows. Oddly, this sculpture started about 4 years ago when I did a series of self-portraits. F*** You, I’m Still Alive is me with bullet holes - entry and exit wounds (amazing what you can find on the internet). I tried to put the bullets in non-lethal spots but my work in college was with plants and microbiology. A friend assures me at least three of the holes were kill shots. I kind of like that better than what I had intended. The other sculptures were: The Child Who Never Was (me with green eyes being the only color on the piece); Legacy of Abuse (showing mental illnesses) and how I see myself (kind of wonky). This latest piece is different. It’s not about overcoming; it’s about I overcame. A little free association, thinking about the cat in the Mutts cartoon, and an embryo of a sculpture is formed. Mitosis. Gene selection and rejection. Meiosis.  Fusion. Crap; now I have to make the platter. It never ends. 

Photos of the first series are on the Clayart Forum under Shapes & Forms. 

Deb Thuman
debthuman at zianet.com

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp

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