> 2005 - 2010



Painted bronze and wood, 2009, 14” x 14” x 14”

The Pueblo figurative pottery tradition dates back to the 1880’s. I assumed my love of Pueblo storytellers stemmed from when I was a young child visiting my grandmother in Tuscon. I played on her Navajo rugs and coveted her turquoise jewelry. But I recently learned that the first true storyteller figure did not appear until 1964 when a well-known collector, Alexander Girard, encouraged potter Helen Cordero to expand on her mother child concept.

This piece did not begin as a storyteller. I tried for months to will her into another piece before accepting her for who she was. For years I worked in isolation and once went for twelve years reworking old pieces, unable to bring any to completion. It was a time when motherhood and work were gobbling up most of my time, but I was also struggling with how and why I made sculpture.

Five years ago a friend dangled a show opportunity in front of me and said “It is time.” Three months later I had the good fortune to hear Kate Wilhelm describe the difference between the work processes for visual and intuitive writers. Most of the sculptors I know have a clear vision of what they want to make. Just like Michelangelo, they "see the angel in the stone and carve to set it free." I never do.

I always start a piece as the storyteller, trying to convey a life lesson or at least shine light on a life conundrum. But more and more, once a figure begins to take form, I am learning to listen, to become the audience and let the story, let the piece change and evolve into the piece it was meant to be. After Wilhelm’s talk I stopped trying to be a visual artist. I stopped beating myself up for not being able to see the angel in the stone. My long drought with sculpture is over, and I no longer worry that it will return. I will always have a story to tell, and lessons to learn.

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