May 25, 2015

Possessed by Small Sculptures

Inspiration for art work can come from unusual sources. I recently created a small group of ceramic pit fired baubles after watching a scene from the popular film, Possession, starring Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The film itself was not particularly well done, being a pale imitation of the 1970's film The Exorcist. In this unfortunate remake the evil spirit came from a dybbuk box with mysterious Hebrew writing on it that the father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) purchased for his daughter from a garage sale.

It was the end of my day and I was feeling too tired to get up and switch the channel on the television but not quite tired enough to sleep. Fortunately my interest in The Possession picked up a bit when the evil box was opened and various well carved objects were discovered inside. Spooky music, upturned eyes, night scenes with unearthly windiness and wicked whispering, notwithstanding, I liked how the box of goods looked. The carving was nicely done, like sophisticated pieces of folk art. Therefore the film’s crucial message that these objects were evil was completely lost on me. I wanted a box of small carvings too.

The very next day I set about making small sculptures out of my locally mined clay. I made them all about one or two inches tall so that a good many could fit in a box should I desire making a box for them at some point. They were rather labor intensive, as they required carving in the leather hard stage, sanding in the greenware stage and burnishing to maintain the natural clay color. I drilled holes in a number of these so that they can function as ornamental focal beads and one can be worn as a ring. Or they can just sit on a shelf and make mysterious noises.

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