So a friend has recommended blogging regularly to keep my site updated and optimize my visibility on search engines. So here I am trying to come up with something to write about on a regular basis. (If you have ideas, I’m all ears!) In the meantime, he asked me about my process and how the cowgirls have evolved.
For most of my life I have made work from the ideas in my head allowing them to evolve and take shape from whatever material lends itself best to my imaginings. Clay is a great material for nearly any form one can think of, it is so malleable and responsive and easily works as the simplest of cups to the most elaborate of sculptures.
I love the idea of people using work that I have made. I am happy making cups, and mugs, and bowls, but they don’t keep my attention enough for me to try to make a living off of them. I just can’t pump out the kind of production required to survive on those kinds of sales. I can make a run of 4-20 of something but I quickly want to escape the rhythm of throwing pots to play with sculptural ideas.
The cowgirl sculptures are always a pleasure to create, to watch them take shape, and be surprised by the expressions in their faces and postures. The first cowgirl was riding a sea creature hand to brim looking out in the distance. From there I started thinking about the cowgirls as freestanding characters you might stumble upon anywhere, in a niche, sitting on a tuna can, playing the guitar dangling her feet off the end of a shelf… I started with two cowgirls ready for a fight, one with two pistols drawn snarling at her adversary, the other with her hands poised to draw. I stood them in front of the relatively giant squid sculpture and laughed out loud. They also worked when facing each other. I kept making more cowgirls, some sitting, some standing. The seated ones were charming as individuals but looked really strong as a gathering around a campfire. The standing ones also grouped together nicely and I started to think of ideas for creating groupings, “The Shoot Out,” “The Cowgirl Washtub Band”, “The Card Game,” “Laughing.”
Some of these groupings have already taken shape, but all the cowgirls are currently sold individually. Right now my mind is imagining the cowgirls as building blocks for slightly abstracted sculptures. I’m not sure where this idea will go or for how long it will keep my attention, but right now the possibilities seem endless… I also like the idea of other typical representations of strong women… maybe Roller Derby Girls? Love those fishnets!