Paper Dreams : Susan Brooks : Objects of Desire and Mirth 13
Objects of Desire and Mirth
ceramic and mixed media 3-4”tall
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.