"Telling a great story is what I do. I learned to tell stories from my family members who are all well known as non-stop talkers. I communicate by using my hands and translating these stories into clay. My ceramic sculptures often help me bring a humorous light to serious matters in my life.
My art focuses on the concepts of communication and miscommunication; things said and other things left unsaid between each other. I use animal imagery, such as Java sparrow finch birds. My Javas (Mr. Wizeman and Holly Houdini) are my muses. To me, my birds are symbols of humanity, facets of myself or of others. They represent different voices of the world, either cheerleaders or naysayers. Each soft slab hand-built clay figure tells a story. Voluptuous females are nurturing, protective symbols to me, connecting my work to my Mexican/Italian female family members. These sculptures serve as spirit guides and thoughtful studies; they are a way for me to manifest intentions, relieve anxieties, and whisper secrets. For instance, the conjoined sculpture “She Thought She Was Her Sister’s Twin” is a story about my sister “de-friending” me on Facebook. As sisters, we are joined together in a bond (the conjoined arm holding hands), always looking over each other’s shoulder, judging one another yet not dealing with our own problems (represented by the squawking Java Sparrow birds).
Currently I’m working on wheel thrown, 17” clay platters designed to hang on the wall. The series, “Waiting For Instructions,” is about my mother’s recent death with an aggressive cancer that grew in days that took her away in one month. The series begins with a platter that is brightly colored with clay flowers and birds. The platter is titled, “Don’t worry, I Am Here”. Six months before my mom’s death I had dreamed she had died. I called her at her work and she told me, “Don’t worry, I am here”. The second platter in the series is, “She felt upside down.” The colors start to drip out of the flowers onto the bottom of the platter. The third platter in the series is called, “Wishes and Dreams”. It is all white.
Hand building allows a personal connection with my materials and my forms; that intimacy is imperative when processing my emotions into clay. Using my hands to create meaning with images and materials empowers me in all aspects of my life. Manipulating clay not only creates sculptures, but also “builds” me as an artist, an educator, and a woman. "