The HOME of the Phoenix

a tryptych assemblage composed of what was left after the artists house burned down
Lost Home Memory Box, Joan Tanzer


What makes a piece of art compelling for me is primarily Wonder. As in it fills me with Wonder (amazement at beauty, uniqueness, ineffability) and makes me Wonder (curiosity about technique, backstory, message.) With a quest for wonderfulness in mind, I set out to find the artworks at the current Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery HOME Exhibit which carried me away into their worlds whether I fully understood them or not. Pieces that called up more questions than answered them. Pieces that pushed the idea of HOME into new shapes.

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The Apron


My first clay studio apron is done for. Look at that threadbare hole with the wood floor peeking through right in the Solar Plexus Chakra!

For that matter, look at the stained and faded rest of it. It used to be as blue as the bottom hem. Looks aren’t all that crucial to me – it’s an apron, after all, and I am more into how it functions – but it cannot do its job now either, and that’s the truth brought home after its last washing. So, I am retiring it to Ragsville, which is actually Fine and Fitting.

In the beginning of my clay work, I did not wear an apron. Too busy. Too cool. When my All-in enthusiasm wrecked a few favorite shirts (Iron oxide wash, I’m lookin’ at YOU!) I found something to strap on in defense: this denim delight. I wore it constantly in the Cabrillo College clay lab for nearly a decade and, like my high school gym clothes, I took it home every weekend to wash.

The demise of this apron got me to examining the other aprons hanging on the back of my studio door. Looks like I will be wearing them more often. And all of them have a story nearly as rich as the one I am letting go of. Here are just a few:Read More >

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