"Lija's Tears," 2013
"Lija's Tears," 2013

Glazed terra cotta, laminated glass, monofilament, epoxy 96 x 15 x 15 in.

"Morning Blue," 2013
"Morning Blue," 2013

Glazed terra cotta, lightbulbs, varying hardware Variable size

"Autumn Leaves," 2013
"Autumn Leaves," 2013

Glazed ceramic 108 x 24 x 24 in.

"Afro-Caribbean," 2011
"Afro-Caribbean," 2011

Glazed ceramic, paper, gouache 30 x 30 x 48 in.

"Tori for Fukushima," 2011
"Tori for Fukushima," 2011

Glazed terra cotta and tin 108 x 36 x 36 in.

"Today's Bliss," 2010
"Today's Bliss," 2010

Glazed porcelain, luster, gold

These architectural ceramic works, which I refer to as my Column of Tears series, is derived from a Byzantine column located in the cistern of Istanbul.

When I first saw the column in 2001, the experience triggered within me an emotional response, but it wasn't until I saw my aunt in Prague in 2004 during a rainstorm and subsequent power outage that I knew I must work with these forms. My obsession with tears originated in childhood, and I believe it is connected to a disjointed family history with roots in politics and culture; it was revived during this visit to Prague.

 

My tears flowed nonstop, and it seemed that the natural world set the stage for this body of work that is both personal and public.     

In ancient Greek architecture each column represents a specific person or state; in my work each column represents a specific emotional response to a political event, personal experience, or memory.

The capital of the column establishes context while the drops form the flutes of the column; the base grounds the sculpture.

Clay drops, initially representing tears, have taken the form of other materials, including oil, blood, sweat, buds, pods--the essence of Man and nature, heaven and hell.

Some of the pieces are more like chandeliers or mobiles, but I still refer to them as columns because they are based in that foundation.

 

Each drop is individually created by hand--no molds are used; other objects are also used to inform the work.

I use a variety of clay, glaze, and overglaze to bring life to these ceramic pieces.