Resorting to divine intervention is not my cup of tea. I am a stranger to the world of spirits and superstitions. As a sculptor, I am more of a materialist; I have to touch to believe. Sometimes I trust more my hands than my eyes and I don’t worry about mistakes. I find the accidents from experimentation fascinating. A whole world of discoveries opens up when things go wrong. It’s a new world to me even if others have been there already. I usually set up my firings in a way that there is room for uncertainty, there is a precarious balance, an untested glaze mix, a window of surprise and hope when I open the kiln.
But with Dendrite, I am in a different territory. The parts need to fit, the glazes need to work, firings need to be completed successfully. There is no room or time for things to go wrong and I dread to think of any cracks or misses.
Many years ago, I have made a small statue of a kiln, very rough and primitive, with a long chimney and I named it The Kiln God. It was a tribute to the good luck charms used since antiquity by potters around the world. I thought it would be nice of me to make a small offering to this Kiln God, hoping he will keep my firings safe and prevent any disasters until this project is done.
I leave now a jelly heart in his mouth every time I put the kiln on. Even if Jill, my studio mate, complains when the jelly melts and smokes, I still think it’s a good sign; he is satisfied.