A Tale of an Amicable Breakup

Once married to clay…
…now In Black

It might seem like quite a leap to go from clay-mud really-to paper collage. I would have thought so had it not happened to me as I lay waiting for something to stir me in my depressed state. I wasn’t expecting anything-it was ghost-like and untouchable. But mysterious things often are. We reach to touch and they dissolve causing us to doubt their power to begin with. Ephemeral really.

I felt my pottery days dwindling. While I loved clay, being a city potter had its great limitations. I didn’t have my own kiln; I had so little control over the final product being reliant on the glazes provided by the studio where I was renting space. Pottery seems more to me a vocation that is best suited to country living-not for me who lives in Manhattan. But the one thing pottery could teach me, even living in NYC, was how to create, how to get to the core of how I should create. That the materials you work with are partners and not adversaries. That creativity can’t be harnessed but has to evolve spontaneously as different elements are added. Only then can you start to refine to get to that rhythmic, dynamic whole.

And so while I loved being married to clay it was a relationship with limitations, one where I was dependent on too many outside variables. Like with any relationship that starts to sour, particularly when you have had such ecstatic moments while in it, I fell into a depression. For what was I to do without it? I had nothing else waiting in the wings. I was depending upon pottery to bring in money. Giving it up was literally a do or die situation. I felt I preferred death to living if I could not find that thing that I was passionate about, because not being passionate about the thing I would do would be intolerable. I had to find meaning in my life not just something that brought in money. So I stopped my life and waited for something I was not sure would ever come hoping the quiet would bring me something that noise could not.

I don’t know how to explain it. I hadn’t been thinking of collage, though collage was the art I loved doing most as a child. I have always thought in impression and the placement of objects rather than drawing or painting. One day I just started doing collage with no premeditation. I used objects and paper loving the texture and color. And then I did more and more and I haven’t stopped. Using paper, photos, pigment ink and oil pastel they just keep coming. And somehow now my life is back together.

You can view my collages and other merchandise by clicking here.

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