She Who Watches
koa wood on mahogany base, 10″ by 11″ by 5″, 1998. private collection Koa wood is from Hawaii and although it is not especially hard, it has a beautiful and opalescent grain. I was experimenting with finding the figure across the grain rather than with the grain, and I’m pleased with the result, which reminds me of how water cuts through the geologic strata of a canyon.
carved in ironwood, a very dense desert wood. 11″ by 71″ by 5″ private collection ironwood grows very slowly in austere conditions. The chips flew off this carving as sharp missiles, but as you can see, the wood takes on a polish you wouldn’t believe. Ironwood has s distinct demarcation between the dark heartwood and the blond sapwood.
Metta: Goddess of Loving Kindness
lignum vitae, a very dense, oily, and fragrant hardwood. 21″ by 9″ by 5″ 1996. private collection This figure honors the strength and courage of incarcerated women. I wanted to make an image of a woman who was so grounded and clear, she would never burn out.
Strutting My Stuff
carved in koa wood on ash base, 22″ by 12″ by 5″. 1997. private collection. This is a composite portrait of the women in prison I came to know through the Prison Integrated Health Program, a holistic health program for prisoners and staff that I founded at FCI Dublin, the West Coast federal prison for women. The women were feisty, defiant, strong, and surprisingly knowledgeable about the world. I also made an appliquéd quilt on the same theme, also titled “Strutting my Stuff.”
Calling Down the Moon
ash wood, 22″ by 12″ by 1″, 1997. private collection Ash wood, like oak, has what’s called a “loud” figure, meaning the striations between dark and light in the wood’s growth rings are pronounced. This feature comes in handy when attempting to give the illusion that the sculpture has much more depth than a 1 inch board. I have identified strongly with horses my entire life, and although I’ve never actually taken this exact pose or had a horse that allowed me to do so, this sculpture expresses the feeling of unity and ecstasy I have with horses
English walnut, 29″ by 14″ by 1″, 1995. Private collection. Sometimes it’s important to push the limits of the material, as I with the fingers and toes in this double bas relief. You risk the sculpture breaking, but if you’re successful, there is a delicacy and dance-like quality that comes through.
carved in onyx, 7″ by 15″ by 4″ on walnut base. private collection I suppose this is an homage piece for my sculpture mentor, Gordon Newell whose sculptures in his prime were boiled down to the simple essence of form: concavity and convexity. The brown intrusions in the white onyx add movement and suggest flight.
carved in honduras mahogany on oak base, 25″ by 15″ by 2″, on oak base. private collection mahogany is a joy to carve as it combines the ease of softer woods with the integrity and luster of hardwoods. this dancer once had a skirt, but I decided the form was more dynamic without it.
Mother and Child
carved in honduras mahogany to honor the incarcerated women who are mothers. 12″ tall private collection
Caning and sisal, 41 inches tall, 1990. Private collection. Learning how to make baskets out of foraged material such as willow and cattail got me interested in making sculptures out of weaving material. I was intrigued by the light and porous nature of wicker and sisal, as well as the transparency of the process; you can see the “bones” of the horse. It was also a challenge to figure out how to get the sculpture to balance. (The secret is in the tail.)
carved in maple in honor of the spirit of the incarcerated women I worked with in the Prison Integrated Health Program. 14″ tall private collection
Honduras mahogany, 12 inches, 1989-90. Private collection I carved this little figure to honor the pregnant women who are incarcerated and with whom I worked as a volunteer from 1990 to 1994 in the Prison Integrated Health Program at FCI Dublin.