Friday, October 23, 2009

Back to My Roots: Mexican-American Style Clay Ornaments

One of the strange things about life is that things from my earliest years of life come back into my life in different ways. This seems to happen more lately. Maybe it's an artistic cycle of some sort.

How it happens is interesting. I get "stuck" in one aspect of my artistic work, so I do something that is very easy for me. Which is why I buy 100 pounds of clay now and then so I can play with making terracotta tiles or tile-like ornaments.

I've been a little stuck lately so out came the clay. I ended up making clay crosses, clay Jewish stars, and clay birds. Just in time for holiday gifts. It's fun. Making decorative clay pieces like this reminds me of some of the Mexican-American or Chicano crafts I would see growing up in Southern California. It's comforting to me as well as somehow seems to open the gates of creative flow within me.

So if you're stuck in some aspect of art (or life) maybe this approach will work for you. Not that you have to make terracotta ornaments. Sometimes I'll make hand-patterned fabrics to wear as sarongs or paint ties for my husband. Whatever it is, it's something I can completely relax with. Opening the kiln is always fun. Kind of like baking bread, but with a more permanent result.

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