Heading out of the Eastsound Post Office early this week, on Monday, I glanced up at the sky and the first autumn colours caught my eye. Two trees, leaves in copper red, framed the roofline of the café across the street. Already? My summer guests just left!
In my studio, drying on a paper towel, were eight ceramic pieces that I had hand pinched to recall fallen leaves and twigs. They were bisque fired, treated with an iron oxide wash and just given a light coat of satin polyurethane to protect the surface etchings. These were made last summer, entirely on a whim from leftover clay coil scraps that I did not want to toss out (isn’t that how it always begins?). I had no fixed idea of what I intended to do with them, but I had taken them out a week ago and believed that if I kept them in plain taunting sight, I would be compelled to use them for something.
Well, this is what I did on Wednesday with some copper wire and a collection of delicate jadeite beads purchased when I lived in Beijing over a decade ago. I was trying to create the image of nature’s cycle – of an old leaf or twig wrapped in a copper ‘tendril’ that was wet with delicate beads of morning dew.
I showed them to my mother-in-law who quipped, ‘Ah, just in time for fall.’ Wait, it didn’t occur to me in the studio, but perhaps those copper leaves I saw on Monday were the inspiration behind these pendants/mixed media miniature sculptures. Duh!