Seeking the Ether – Sally Hudak

March 10 – 31, 2000
Seeking the Ether
smoke fired clay
Sally Hudak

Sally Hudak
Seeking the Ether
smoke fired clay
March 10 – 31, 2000

photo by Jerry Mann

Using clay from a recycled “home” I had built at the BK Smith Gallery
at Lake Erie College, I continued to explore comfort and nurturing
through the creation of a smoke fired quilt and three pillows. The quilt
squares were painted with a white slip and smoked in an open firing
using sawdust and newspaper. They were then ‘sewn’ together with
rebar wire and coated with beeswax. My hand prints and finger marks
decorate the squares. A part of the installation was video and stills,
documenting the firing process. During the pillow making , each of my
three children pressed the side of their face into the soft clay, leaving
an impression. I wanted it to appear as though they had perhaps
rested their head there for a while and so this work, as I said is about
nurturing and comfort. To me a quilt is the ultimate comfort. It is a
resting place. As a child, I slept under a quilt that my maternal
grandfather had made. My clay quilt is a comfort but it is also
protective as it plated and wired like a kind of armor. Much later, I
discovered that my quilt actually resembles the Early Western Han
“Gold Jade clothes” that protected the bodies of Chinese emperors’
in the burial tombs.

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