Sandra Zeiset Richardson
9/2001 Artist Statement
Foster White, Kilrkland

The title of this show is "Alone." I did not set out deliberately to explore that concept when I started this work. Rather, as the work for this show emerged, the theme of aloneness seemed to tie the pieces together. I am drawn to the biblical story of Adam and Eve and return to it often in my work. The story seems to be a pattern, an archetype, for all other stories and for our own existence. It seems to be the story of the beginning of loneliness, aloneness. In this work, questions and explorations of my art have come together with questions and explorations of my faith.

I have written several poems to accompany the work in this show. Some words came before the piece and inspired the piece. Some grew out of the work. Some, I did not realize until later, had a relationship with words that were written some time ago. I have had an on and off again relationship with words. I have, at times, been deeply suspicious of words (my own and others). Poetry seems an incisive and honest use of words. It can present possibilities and explore ideas without being definitive or authoritative. It is in that spirit that I present these poems and work.

In contrast to the title of this show, the work you see here was not done alone. Indeed, this work could not have been done without the many hands that helped at the many stages of creation. The process is labor intensive. The stages involve: building the forms from coils, smoothing the surface, carving and coloring with three coats of underglaze (all before the piece is fired once). Then painting on and rubbing off the black, clear glazing and refiring and then perhaps adding more color and refiring and sometimes adding more and refiring. In the past, it was my hand (or tool or brush or sponge) that touched every square inch of the piece many times and did it all. Now many other hands are involved. I am grateful.

I especially thank Janet Still, a friend of many years and an artist in her own right. Janet built the forms from my maquettes and sketches. This was a learning experience/experiment for both of us. She tried simply to be my hands. She understood and respected my process of changing, cutting apart and rearranging, and bonding. Thanks to her knowledge and application of clay handbuilding technique, these pieces survived the kiln, some sustaining numerous firings. The carving was a more difficult stage for me to relinquish to the hands of others. Much I managed to do on my own. What I could not do was entrusted to Janet and later to Lisa Bade. Thank you both.

Thanks to all of you who, once or many times, helped with underglazing, loading pieces in and out of the kiln, or moving something from here to there: Nancy, Shelby, Linda, Nicole, Kathy, Charlie, Raymond, Ernie, Joan, Melanie, Brian and anyone I may have inadvertently left off this list.

Finally, I thank Stan Richardson, my partner in love and life, for photographing the work and for his abiding love and support.

Poetry | 2001 Foster White Show | Home