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Paper Dreams : Susan Brooks : Objects of Desire and Mirth 13

Susan Brooks

Regular price $150.00 Sale

Objects of Desire and Mirth

ceramic and mixed media

My process is usually cooked up in my head and then I go straight to the materials I have chosen to work in. I’m not big on sketches beforehand, though I draw all the time and often build on what I’m working on after I start something. I’m continuously taking in ideas from artifacts I like and collect, past work, current events and the natural world. Inspiration is everywhere. There is always a strong visual crossover in everything I do no matter what the medium. 

For this exhibit I’m showing miniature ceramic figures and drawings from my ongoing project, 1000 Objects of Desire and Mirth. A passion project that has brought me great solace and joy.

In 2016 my only sister passed away. My sadness was all consuming. I was having great difficulty finding my enthusiasm and concretion to do my work. Everything I was doing was rote. I’d spend hours in my painting and jewelry studio everyday and had difficulty completing anything. 

One day out of nowhere I remembered that there was some clay in my studio and I thought I’d make a few tiny figures to add to my collection of “Odd Stance and Strange Glances.” As soon as I touched the clay I felt calm and tiny figures started to populate my workbench. Looking at them brought me delight. In the first week I made over 100 and in the first 2 months I’d made 300 of the raw figures. Then the thought, how do I fire these set in. I didn’t even know what type of clay I had. Luckily I know many potters who were able to guide me. After getting back a box of 300 fired figures my mind went wild imaging how to decorate and complete them. I admit I was pretty overwhelmed. But that’s where the second stage of amusement set in. I have completed 500 of the 1000 Objects of Desire and Mirth, which has taken me almost 4 years. I imagine the next group will take even longer.

The figures are small, generally 1 - 4 inches tall and made of high fire clay, paint, metal, semiprecious stones and wood. They are completely different on both sides. 

Everything I’ve ever done has lead me right here.

Susan Brooks