Clay Hearts

Last night when I was considering a blog topic, I kept thinking of hearts. The image of a heart kept coming to me. Not a sweet Valentine heart or anything terribly cute, but ceramic hearts with a certain oomph to them. I must have been seeing things with symbolic sight. It’s been a heck of a week. I’m down in the United States because my mother had emergency surgery. I arrived on Thursday and, with all family members who are flung into such a situation, life takes on a vastly different flavor. When I thought of hearts last night, I think it was my way working through the situation in some way. The heart is an organ flush with symbolism and primal nature and it all seemed to boil down to that. I found some hearts that ‘work,’ that did the trick and served some inner purpose. After I looked at them and considered them, I felt immensely better. So, I pass them on to you…. The artisan who made these first clay hearts states that “even at its most idiosyncratic, ceramic work continues to be fed by its long roots. I revel in the nourishment clay provides.” May these hearts nourish you. If you want to see more of this work, it can be found at the Jill Underhill Gallery, on Lake Michigan. The carving, glaze colors, and mass of these hearts appeals to me. These next hearts, by Jacquline Hurlbert feel immensely important to me, as if they are striking a very deep chord. “Clay serves as the vehicles for my meditation; it speaks without words,” she explains. “Everything that I feel is automatically transferred to the clay through my hands.” If you wish to learn more of the underpinnings of her work, you can read her artist’s statement. She makes small hearts and larger ones which can be mounted on a wall. They possess a dreamlike, sometimes eerie feel and they tap into the symbolic sight through which I’m viewing the world right now. These images have copyright protection and I’m unable to show them here, but you can reach them with the links above. I found these next hearts on the Not On The High Street site. All of these hearts are a bright red and are listed as being made by Coasting Along, from the UK. Again, the apparent weight appeals to me, as does the glaze job as viewed from the side, with the white that can be seen through the red…a rough or unfinished look. For the next heart, we go to Poland, where two women have created a very intriguing project for themselves and us. They explain that “corezone is a closed ceramic space, where one can place their thoughts, feelings, emotions. An attempt to fulfill emotional needs by the means of an object, a try to withhold immaterial being in a material space.” As a means of catharsis, this heart can hold and release something for you. It looks like a very powerful means of using ritual and meaning.

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About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
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