The tree of life is one of my favorite things to sculpt as it represents so many good things. I will start with a 25 pound bag of clay and just let the clay become the shape that it wants to be. It’s a spiritual process for me. The clay is a part of the earth, I love the way it feels. As I see things in the clay with my imagination, I start to form it. I try hard to just let the clay become what it wants to be, and, focus on things like love, happiness, peace. I’m just creating shapes that I see in the clay, I’m not trying to make people per say. Or, any particular type of tree, just trying to capture the essence of something. And, thus, a lot of the people are just part of the tree. They could be a part of the roots, bark, etc..
The tree can also take on lots of different forms. But, most often it’s the roots and the texture that I love. The sense of it being old and decaying but at the same time coming alive with hope and being nurtured.
My sculptures look a bit unfinished and rough. Yes, I could make something detailed and perfect, but, when your sculpting with your feelings and imagination, once something is done. It’s done. You no longer want to work on it. The message has been said. I don’t sculpt to make sales. I sculpt to create harmony in my life. For me, sculpting is like breathing air. It comes naturally with little thought. Below are just a few of the MANY I have done.
The piece below represents an old trees roots coming alive and growing upward, rather than downward symbolizing new life springing forth with love. Embracing that which gave them life.
This tree is leaning to the side. Abstract people are embracing around it and trying to give it strength and caring for it. I guess for most people you might not see the tree or the people around it. However, to me, it is all very apparent. You might be looking for an actual tree. While I’m just “feeling” a tree and the people around it.
The sculpture below was created with lots of love. I just imagined people everywhere, a part of the tree, caring for eachother, they are the trees roots, bark and strength. I had fun just imagining the shapes as I made them, interconnecting. LOL… then when it came out of the kiln a friend laughed and said “an orgy” tree. Ugghhh…. I didn’t see that at all. All I saw was beauty and love. That’s what I was trying to create.
This 25 lb block of clay was going to be a tree, but, ended up being a tree with an owl sort of mixed together. I was thinking about the wisdom of a tree and an owl shape started to appear from my imagination, so, I went with it.
This is a sad piece. There was a neighbor who was very old. I went outside and saw the ambulance take him away as his elderly wife cried. Later that day I wanted to capture the pain and sadness I had seen. I took a 25 lb block of clay and layed it on it’s side to represent him being carried away laying down. As I worked the clay two tree shapes appeared with one desperately holding on to the other. The trees were very old, it had grown side by side for many years and it was hard to see where one began and the other ended. ( I actually was crying at times while creating this.) It took about 3 hours to complete. To most people they are probably wondering, what in the world is this? But, for me it’s super easy to see. And, when I look at this piece it reminds me of the incredible power of love.
Well, like everything else, this piece started out as a 25 lb block of clay. As I started playing with the clay it started taking on a shape of it’s own. I started thinking about the power of one’s imagination, that, you can pretty much imagine anything. So the tree started becoming like a dream with a large character that could be the figment of an imagination. I then put a child on the back looking out, seeing the world through the eyes of imagination, with curiosity and wonder. I suppose I could have worked longer on this piece, making it more detailed and life like, but, again, I felt it said what it needed to say and then put it away to dry.
The one below is probably one of my least favorite designs in a way and also one of my favortes. As I was playing with the clay I imagined a face in the bark. I tried to sculpt the face into the bark and it looked like the top of the tree was a crown on her head. The whole thing looked kind of comic bookish to me so I turned the clay around and started something new. I imagined two faces, silhouettes, not carved. So I made two silhouettes looking at eachother and holding hands, and, in love. I then turned the clay around again and looked at the woman and realized making her was not a mistake. She is thinking about the past, or, the future and about someone she loves. And the two people behind her are actually shadows or remnants of that love in her mind.
The piece below signifies that the world is at the center of the tree of life. Protected by it’s roots. Thus, the trees roots encircle the earth. The chain represents the strength of the tree. That it is all powerful and that power helps bind the world together. When I made the chain out of clay I tried to interloop them in a way that after firing, some of the links could still move. I wanted it to be flexible in order to signify that even though things may seem set in place, growth and change are still possible.
Thanks for taking the time to look at a few of my odd creations. I will post more from time to time. Have a wonderful day. Amelia