In Memory of...

Back in January my Aunt’s sister passed away and she was heartbroken. She decided she was going to take on the task of creating a beautiful memory card/prayer card for her sister’s funeral out of state, but she needed something quick and she wanted something deeply rooted in her sister’s love and passions. She wanted whatever she chose to be a lovely keepsake for her sister’s family and friends to carry with them when they left the services. She sent me an email asking what I would do because she knew she wanted to create something beautiful and had an idea of the objects/symbols she wanted to use to represent her sister but she didn’t know how to put all of those things together. In her email she listed those things; a pig, since she collected pig figurines and loved animals, a corgi because she had a beloved pet corgi, something to represent her as a NICU nurse, a violet to represent an old nickname, a rose to represent flowers which her and her partner both loved, and her favorite place, the beach (this was to easiest part for me). As an artist, when you see a list like that, it is hard to imagine all of these objects coming together in a cohesive, beautiful piece. A pig? And a NICU nurse, how does one visually represent these things in a piece? I thought about it for a minute, but then thought to a recent painting I had made called “The Five of us”. I like to think of these little objects, sometimes, as people and groups of people, and this piece reminded me of my aunt and her family of five. I quickly thought about how I could recreate these pottery shards to include the objects she needed in her piece. I added a small pig to the bottom right shard, a corgi was cleverly hidden into the glaze on the bottom left, the two middle shards represent the rose and the violet, and I used a baby’s footprint in the top piece to honor her work as a nurse in the NICU. We created a 4x6 card with a lovely poem chosen by my aunt on the back. I wanted to show you both the first painting and how I adapted the second painting to the needs of my aunt. I absolutely loved doing this for her and I am very interested in how I can create more personalized pieces such as this one by simply changing the design painted on the pottery. One of the things I love about painting these pottery shards in the fact that there are endless possibilities in arrangement and surface decoration. Let me know if you’re interested in a piece that is personal to a person in your life, I would love to do this again.