From conception this project has been a labor of love and reality for me. These faces are all from one mold, I mix paper fibers (specifically a paper insulation) in to clay and then pour that mixture in to the mold. They are bisque fired and then for the finishing touches they are put in a pit firing where I have little control of what the fire and flames will do. Sometimes they break sometimes they do not. Every time they never come out how I expected them to and there’s something beautiful and magical about that.
The one mold represents humans, we all come from different places, different races but as humans we all share DNA (one mold). In the molding process the clay that is used is strong, light weight and in theory should be able to withstand varying, sometime extreme temperatures. The final firing is life. I put the faces in a fire pit similar to a campfire, I put different combustible materials and chemicals to influence the coloring and surface designs, I even try to control the rate of temperature increase and oxygen. Once I light that fire what happens to those creations, those faces is out of my control. It’s nerve wrecking standing by the fire and hearing all the crackles and pops, I want to protect what isn’t mine to protect any longer.
When the ashes are settled and the coals have all cooled, I get to uncover my faces. Each time I uncover a face I feel like an archeologist discovering King Tuts tomb. My excitement can hardly be contained. Some break, some stay whole but none of them ever turn out how I expect, the clay, the flames they all have a mind of their own. They’re incredibly beautiful.
To me these faces are like humans, as we go through life we break, we put ourselves back together, sometimes you can see the scars and sometimes you cannot. Each time we break, each time we put ourselves back together influences us as a whole. We can prepare ourselves for life all we want but in the end life is going to take us where it wants to, it is up to us to continue to put the pieces back together and see how stunningly beautiful we are.