Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Musings, Bronze Bells

The New Year is almost here, time for resolutions, introflection, reorganization and inspiration.

My word for 2009 is focus, to try to narrow my intentions and make a few things really progress substantially rather than progress many things marginally. The trick is to decide which things.

In yoga, setting an intention at the beginning of the practice is common. Mine over the last few weeks has been narrowing down, focusing. I've gone from trying to be too broad (my greatest strength and direst weakness) to paring away toward the heart of the matter. I feel a resonance with this focusing of intention and sense that I'm getting answers to questions during the practice. 

One question is finding inspiration for new work. I've been grappling with the idea of making my instrospection more apparent in my artwork. Right now I have a piece underway that feels like a step in that direction. 
As I opened my eyes following a floor asana in yoga class, my focus was on the tips of the winter trees waving gently through the clerestory windows. The combination of visuals and soft background music thrust an image into my mind of a bell. I've been thinking about bells made of bronze since the Purdue conference, where I heard that Lisa Cain had made some in class and the sound was crystalline. I really enjoyed Robert Dancik opening his classes and talks with a singing bowl and thought that a bell serves a similar function. One of my yoga teachers uses bronze bells to call us back from shavasana. So the bell image was a final convergence of months of subconscious thought. 

Over the past week, amongst the many holiday distractions and the bout of stomach flu, I've spent a bit of time drawing designs and making photopolymer plates, and finally cutting out bronze clay to assemble the bell. Unfortunately, I can't fire it yet because we're heading out of town for a few days, but I thought I'd post it now anyway before the kiln goddess adds her own input.  Still in need of some final cleanup and a striker:

Summoning Bell for the Muse of Winter