The End of Bliss in Ignorance, 10x25x6 inches, Ceramic, Wood, Paper, Acrylic Paint, Reduction Fired, 3/3/15
Solid forming techniques from Beth Cavener’s workshop were used to construct The End of Bliss in Ignorance. A piece that depicts a curious creature finally learning what was hidden inside a box, it will forever be a part of him, and in this moment a change occurs, a transformation from his former self. Something was lost and something was gained, yet he will still be sustained.
Ding or Ting ware pouring vessel from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279) Photo Courtesy: Linda Ganstrom Art History Lectures
When flipping through images of contemporary art every now and then, I’m always confronted by a piece that just seems so contemporary, as if it was made yesterday. This Ding or Ting ware pouring vessel is from the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). Characteristics of Song dynasty ware include refined delicate work and technical precision. I felt a connection to this piece through subject matter. My work often provides a memory pallet for the viewer of my surroundings in hopes of making them more aware of their own. I appreciate the subtleties in life that make all the difference. This piece looks like each component was taken from a separate place and then assembled into a harmonious and functional composition. Perhaps the maker was combining moments from his own daily life. This is a timeless piece because it looks freshly made and promises a deeper meaning on closer examination.
Dogs have always played an important role in my life, not only as companions but also as protectors. The Pekinese, a breed specifically bred for its lion like qualities, played a similar role for the Chinese during the Han Dynasty about 2000 years ago. Also known as the guard dog or Han Dog, sculptures of the Pekinese were kept near entry ways to homes during life and near entrances to tombs after death. These sculptures are one of the most common items found in the tombs most likely because of the belief that they could protect from evil. The Pekinese was appealing to royalty of the Han Dynasty because of its lion like qualities, symbolic of power and protections. The dogs had an aggressive nature, were bread for protection, and were only allowed to be owned by royal family members. Some Pekinese were bred to be small so that they could be kept up their owners sleeve and released for protection. In the Tang Dynasty Emperor Ming treated his dogs like royalty and even made one of his Pekinese a wife. During the Yuan Dynasty Kublia Khan made taking care of these dogs an art form. Throughout Chinese dynasties ceramic figurines of the Pekinese have often been found buried near their owners. The Pekinese breed is still around to this day.
Stoneware Tomb Guardian- Photo Courtesy: http://asianhistory.about.com/od/china/p/History-of-the-Pekingese-Dog.htm