Thursday, August 14, 2008


As I mix my mixtures of fiber and clay, I poke and fold, poke and fold to ensure that the fibers are totally surrounded by clay. Dry fiber clumps will not suffice. I continue to add fiber until the mixture feels muscular. I made a note to myself to blog about “musculature”. I am not sure what thoughts I had on the day that I put that word on a post it note and stuck it to the cupboard door near my studio sink. It is a thought that permeates me and will affect my work on some level. But how I thought it would shape my work on that particular day escapes me at the moment. Working with clay/fiber mixtures is similar to working in clay, but still very different. This musculature is one essential element of that difference. Rather than total plasticity of clay building, this musculature quality must be handled differently. I cannot treat the surface in the same manner. I can’t easily dig into it with tools to make clean incisions. The fibrous mixture attaches one part of the surface to other parts and to the interior. Incisions can be fuzzy. This quality changes the way I treat both the forms and the surface. While I remain sculpturally interested in structure and skin ways of building, the “skins” of my constructions become like muscles, tissue, and skin all at once. There is some satisfaction in this metaphor. For no living being is merely skeleton and skin, skin and bones. So, I continue to work somewhere in between organic structures composed of skeletons and architectural structures built of posts and beams. And my skins work somewhere in that middle ground as well.