I began sculpting in the early 1980’s and continued creating with clay as I pursued an education in chemistry, providing my life with much-needed stress relief and balance. My sculptures are condensed thoughts or emotions that span a wide range of topics. In them, I see the faces of old friends— hints of my scientific nature, a lot of humor, and solid evidence of life’s joy and the variety of its experiences.
Early on, I stopped using traditional ceramic glazes and began painting my pieces by hand with acrylics. This provided a very satisfying control over color and made my sculptures and creations feel finished and complete. Also quite early on, I started writing rhyming poems for each piece— often while my hands were working the clay. For me, the poems provide another enhancing dimension of the artwork. Since the sculptures are all hollow (after being kiln-fired), I would write the poem on a paper scroll and stuff it into the creature for safe-keeping. In 2009, I published a book called “erratic, ecstatic et cetera” where the sculpture images were published with their poems.
I take great delight in the magic of clay. Clay is patient and pliable, willingly receives our slightest intentions, and quickly forgives our greatest mistakes. Then, baptized in fire, it holds firm witness to our time, our place, and our energy. Is there anything else on earth that can do that?
erratic, ecstatic et cetera, sculptures and poems by Darla Graff Thompson
book published December 2009; book and/or sculptures available for purchase at:
Otowi Station Bookstore in Los Alamos, NM
Art Center at Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos NM
Village Arts, Los Alamos NM
Book is also available on-line at Amazon.com