Works in Progress

As usual, I've got more than one thing going at a time. Right now, I'm working on these two Ancestress masks. The first has extruded black polymer clay hair, which was both fun and a bit painful to make--I need more hand strength, I guess. Her face is black clay burnished with sunset gold Pearl Ex powder. I haven't quite decided whether she'll be in a shadow box or a wall hanging, and she hasn't exhibited the qualities which will determine her name yet (see below).

This one is reminiscent of Matuko, Ancestress of Elegance, which is one of my favorites. Her crown is silver plated beads on polymer clay bands, and her helmet is textured polymer clay burnished with lavender and blue Pearl Ex powders. Her face is black clay with copper Pearl Ex. I love how the powders change the character of whatever they touch. People often think the masks are metal, and are astonished when I tell them they're polymer clay. That's part of the "story" of my art. I've discovered people like hearing about the materials I use, how I choose colors, and why I'm drawn to African themes, symbols and motifs. Sometimes, they'll even ask how I choose names for the Ancestresses. The answer is that while working on a mask, the qualities she exhibits begin to reveal themselves. With those in mind, I find the African name which fits. I've often said they become who they want to be; I'm just the conduit through which they emerge. Which is why I believe 'a fusion of art, spirit and culture' is such a fitting description of my work.

Off to finish these to come.