Sometimes I start with a very clear idea or image, or find specific imagery, to interpret/make three-dimensional. Other times I'm exploring an abstracted or geometric open form. There is some usually some experimentation, or invention of process, that motivates me. The flexibility of the clay medium makes it both accessible and challenging.
Each stage of clay, from soft to firm to hard, rough, smooth, shiny, etc., requires its own methods and discipline. Starting a work and carrying it through the final stages, hoping it will make it through the firing(s), is both exciting and challenging. Maybe something good that I hadn't quite expected will happen--it's never completely predictable.
For this bust, I found pictures of Rigoberta Menchu, a Mayan activist and Nobel Peace Laureate from Guatemala. Mayan traditional fabrics often have intricate patterns and bright colors, specific to different areas and families. Inspired by these fabrics, I was looking at her Nobel Laureate portrait printed out in black and white. On the bust, I used bright spots of light and dark colors to emphasize light and dark areas of her face as shown in the printout. This was a way of playing with projecting a two-dimensional image onto a three-dimensional surface. It also became a comment on how portraits can freeze a passing moment, but that in life, the light on a surface is always moving.