2016 Bozzetti

About the Bozzetti

You may be familiar with maquette, the French term for a small version of an intended sculptural or architectural endeavour. A bozzetto is the Italian equivalent. Just as a sketch for a master painting may retain a spark unique unto itself, one that may not translate identically into the larger, more finished work, the tiny bozzetti often have their own charms. I began making them daily during a portion of my residency at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Each is generally born as an hour-long exercise without a direct source or model: I sit down and follow what I sense in the clay. Unlike daily sketching in a sketchbook or writing in a journal, the bozzetti eventually take up lots of space, and so many are squished! Some pieces may be developed further, transitioned into a permanent material, and produced in a limited edition when a collector expresses an interest or there is a quiet moment to pursue one that interests me personally. 

In October of this year, I am participating in the Creative Sprint challenge.  Each piece is made in response to the provided prompts and is completed within approximately one hour.  My theme is the celestial.

Day 30.  Create a trophy or other award for yourself!  The prompt also mentioned creating one for others, and today I had the pleasure of seeing my colleagues receive sculpture awards for pieces they exhibited in our national parks this year. Here I have made a wee aurora borealis for them by looking through an award. Congratulations!  Photograph

Day 29.  Ask someone you respect to look through your past month’s work and select their favorite one. Revise or refine the work they selected for today’s task.  Dear friend who wrote in: Day 27 was recycled for Day 28.  Your second suggestion was taken.  Due to the hour cut-off on these and the slow progression of grits, you will only be able to see a portion of the polish on the cloud.  You are seeing the piece from the bottom.  It feels amazing to the fingertips!  However, the rough-hewn tool and sandpaper marks are my preference…they make the cloud look fluffy, and the high polish removes that impression.  Perhaps this will make a nice paperweight when it is finished.  There is an interesting pink that is now emerging.  Thank you for your feedback and enthusiasm.  Alabaster

Day 28.  Make a monster!  I do not believe in monsters, but I do acknowledge monstrous illnesses and the individual capacity for monstrous choices, most of which seem to be born of the various manifestations of fear, ignorance, or lack of empathy. On the right is one who spent a lifetime conquering his fears. On the left is a leper (unfortunately labeled monstrous). As I understand it, St. Francis was most terrified of lepers. What was he given? The task of kissing one – and upon doing so, he discovered that the recipient was the Divine.  I think that most of us contain both the leper (the conditioning/wounds received and inflicted in life) and the same courage and transformative love that flowed through Francis.  Clay

Day 27.  Make something inspired by another Creative Sprinter.  Sending lovely winged things to my fellow creatives (especially to those who work with the natural world and all creatures great and small)…may your creative voices soar freely, and I thank you for the support you have shown mine.  Clay 

Day 26.  Create something you can wear on your body.  Bonus: get a picture of yourself wearing it in public.  These are my favourite beach-combing finds: symbolically and aesthetically dear to me (the sacrifice the Divine made for me and the incredible bronze or ceramic look), I have painted them in oils and there is a small carving of one in-progress.  Sorry, no modeling today.  Sea thorns, jewelry hooks

Day 25.  Break something and make something new with the parts.  Portal.  The sculpting tool was broken; I would like to go backwards in time, become the living tree it once was.  Wooden sculpting tool

Day 24.  Make something that incorporates or is inspired by a smell.  The wonderful scent of the almond is my inspiration.  The plan was to make a single three-dimensional mandorla – a small space to be filled with the sacred at a later point – but it wanted to multiply into the shape of the almond blossom itself.  Cardboard, plaster

Day 23.  Interpret your favorite song lyrics.  I do not have a favourite song.  The one I chose is associated with good memories; only the first eight words of the song are indicated.  Mixed media collage

Day 22.  Do something backwards, upside down or inside out.  The world often seems these things.  We embrace the tangible as ‘real’ and dismiss the intangible as illusion.  Clay, water

Day 21.  Take something boring and make it really fancy.  The paintbox lid received too much attention.  I would like the boring back, please.  Mixed media paints, gold leaf

Day 20.  Create using only materials you can find in a kitchen. Cloudscape from potato starch, cardamom, and chili powder

Day 19.  Invent a game for two or more people to play.  Bonus: Get someone to play it with you!  This game does not have a name.  Perhaps it is the only one worth playing, for its loving goal is joy for others.  In this case, there are three or more positive outcomes, one of which is already done: our game pieces support artisans in developing countries – individuals who are striving for food, shelter, and education for themselves and loved ones. They may provide cheer for those who need it today.  And, the recipients of these tokens have opportunities to multiply the good that is in this day.

Day 18.  Take a walk outdoors and create something using exclusively the materials you find along the way.  Photograph (birdbath, aster-like petals)

Day 17.  Green is the color of so many different things.  Use it as your inspiration today.  Healers.  Green clay, plants

Day 16.  Invent a new word and illustrate or demonstrate its meaning.  Umbrial: Of or relating to one’s direct connection to the Divine.  Photograph

Day 15.  Make something inspired by an important teacher in your life.  I was blessed by a few mentors early in my life.  I have also experienced wounds beyond words by those in positions of what we call authority.  Fortunately, the lessons from both pools of experience have been shown to me, and my gratitude goes to more than one manifestation of the one who taught me the miracle of how the wound becomes the balm.  This is Pietro’s hand…I saw these sculptures more than once earlier this year, never guessing that I would drive by them daily for many weeks.  Photograph

Day 14.  Combine two things that you don’t usually find together.  Seed pods and floor scraps (clay, pins, and gold leaf)

Day 13.  Recreate a famous work of art in your own way.  It is more accurate to say that a work is referenced here, not recreated.  There is a painting of birch trees by Klimt that I find at once sacred and unsettling.  Perhaps it is the slant of the horizon line that does it.  At any rate, the birch is an incredible, beautiful tree.  Photograph (would be a great reference for a graphite drawing on frosted mylar)

Day 12.  Make something inside of a box.  Cardboard box, wire scraps

Day 11.  Make something intentionally messy.   At first these marks were as rain drops.  The oil gradually expanded as it was absorbed into the paper, and when held to the light, a beautiful warmth was revealed.  The question mark with a tau was a surprise.  Spilt frankincense on paper

Day 10.  Start something and have someone else finish it for you.  Bonus: work with another sprinter to accomplish this.  My friend has a theme of reptiles and we opted to make once piece – a turtle – together.  Unlike me, she possesses a linear sensibility and is able to make lovely lines in pen and ink as well as other materials.  The attempt was made to add subtle texture to her sketch.  Turtle’s shell is comprised of many tiny star-like symbolic turtles (the One made up of many) as a nod to his sacred role in some cultures and creation myths.  Acrylic on paper

Day 9.  Share a secret or make something inspired by a secret.  Here the word secret is read in the context of mystery.  Just as the invisible wind directs the weathervane, so the Divine guides the individual life; the relationship’s depth is determined by the individual.  Plaster block, graphite, gold leaf 

Day 8.  Come up with a new use for something you would normally discard.  Night sky relief (moon, clouds, and stars).  Plaster spillage from the studio floor

Day 7.  Make something that represents the town, city, state or country you call home.  One of the studio visitors this summer suggested that ‘Planet Earth’ be my response to daily questions about where I am from.  O, Earth!  You are at once wondrous and wounded.  May we become better stewards of the place we all call home.  Clay

Day 6.  Deliver a message to someone in an unusual way.   Glass bottle and cork, recycled papers, ink, silver wire, fishing wire, gouache washes

Day 5.  Camouflage something.   You can create entire coasters, trivets, trays, and more from this paper coiling technique.  Imagine serving tea on a manuscript, unresolved love poem or letter, or your Last Will and Testament!  This piece is a God’s Eye, as there isn’t a thing under the sun that one can camouflage from the Divine.  Gratitude journal pages, pins

Day 4.  Create something inspired by the weather outside today.  The sky was a calm blue for the Feast Day of Saint Francis.  May his powerful practice of seeing the highest Good in all beings (the cielo azzurro beneath any storm!) remain with us.  This one’s for you, Francis, as well as for all your brothers and sisters.  Gouache, graphite

Day 3.  Use a nursery rhyme or other childrens’ song as your source material (Star Light, Star Bright), today.  Recycled paper, holes, light

Day 2.  Use your name as inspiration for what you create.  Recycled papers, dyed tagua

Day 1.  Make something that fits in the palm of your hand using only the materials in your immediate environment.  Fragment of alabaster (carved with a single loop tool)


30 October 2016


29 October 2016


28 October 2016


27 October 2016


26 October 2016


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21 October 2016


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18 October 2016


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10 October 2016


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6 October 2016


5 October 2016


4 October 2016 – SOLD


3 October 2016


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1 October 2016

21 July 2016

21 July 2016

Nasturtium tile detail

27 June 2016


26 June 2016

20 May 2016

20 May 2016