One of the six guys from the Talavera Studio!

5.12.17 - Why Mexico? (It has something to do with cookies)

I came to Mexico to get a glimpse of this side of the border and, perhaps, eventually, Trump’s wall. Even if the wall never materializes it’s already, of course, created a state of them and us. When there’s a wall there’s only one side or the other, no in-between. Inevitably on one side it’s the economically advantaged and on the other, the less privileged. It always comes down to class.

I also came down here to create the sculptures that will make up the Wall of Humanity installation that will be installed in the Creative Alliance in August. I’ve been using Puebla’s clay and glazes. They have a strong tradition in Talavera Pottery and also in printmaking. I’ve included 3 working sketches for relief prints that will accompany the wall project. They are ink on paper and about 5" square each.

Not surprisingly, I see the wall as a metaphor for a bully. In one sketch a bully sits on a brick, in another it’s biting off a head, and in the third sketch people are whispering; “Which side are YOU on?”

Actually, now that I’ve been here for two and a half weeks, I realize I came to Mexico because I thought I might fall in love. I’ll begin with the cookies. When I walk to the place where I create my sculptures I pass by a bakery. First there’s the smell of baking, then you see the dough being rolled out and formed. Then you walk into a tiny space full of freshly baked goodies. You walk in and, using tongs, place your chosen delectables on an aluminum tray and go to the counter to pay. In spite of the language difference the proprietress and I have a wonderful time chatting. That’s why I came here.


Beginning of a series of pieces addressing what WALLS do. This piece is the Puebla clay from the ground. It's 8"x8"x3". It's unfired.


Here they are! Mingling with the Puebla Talavera


Me at work in the shared studio space!


The clay taken from the ground here in Puebla is used additive-free. It's pretty much like making mud pie sculptures!


Talavera Majolica originated here In Puebla. They use the clay from the ground and create the glazes. A commonly used image is the saint surrounded by an aura or halo. This is an example of my spin on that idea. The piece is unfired, about 10"x8".


Hello From Mexico!

I'm making my sculptures in a studio called the Factory. Two women are doing the Majolica painting and 2 men prepare the clay. They dig it out of the ground, mix it with water, and that's it. They make the glazes there too. I'm using the same materials as they are. The big blue object is the kiln. The finished pieces are sold in the connecting store. More to follow...