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"The last few years I have been working almost primarily in clay instead of wood or stone. Wood was my first sculptural medium and I liked it quite well for many years. However I find I like the plasticity of clay and particularly porcelain. It's smooth to work, (although it has a tendency to crack and break in raku firing so I am trying out a different clay called WSO for raku), and takes detail and glaze beautifully. I especially like Celadon, a very old, translucent glaze, with its traditional look.

Most of my very recent work is what I call 'Shamanic' work, or spirit animals, skulls and masks. I have just completed another bear head with 3 horse heads finished. I have a cement bear on a wire armature in process as well. I get this stuff from a number of different places, one being images that are coming at me, in a good way, into my head or in dreams. I often see images of horses and dog/wolves. All I have to do is close my eyes. It's like a movie. They move, as though posing, while changing colors, personas and positions. Their eyes were translucent like the eyes of young fetuses in the womb. The current Bear is a "Peace Bear". I finally decided to nix the idea of a dove or some kind of writing, (Arabic/salaam, Hebrew/shalom) blessing on its head; this isn't the right piece for that. I also had the idea of making a garland of alpine flowers around its head. I may just leave this bear pure white after bisque firing; I like the simplicity and cleanness of its lines. 'Salaam' is now another horse head, in the firing and glazing process.

Bears, Horses and Wolves/Canines are "my animals", (spirit guides). And birds. I have a vulture and a coyote skull that I use as inspiration. And there are lots of deer, horse and cow skulls on the property. I use all of these in my studio; to study and sometimes to lay clay on. No, I don't have a human skull for "Skull". There are other images that call to me too, I have what I call "Gods and Goddesses" in mind. I also have images of half people and part animals. Kind of like how people have an animal persona. I want to bring that out and make it more obvious. This could be a series of "Anima and Animas"- from the collective unconscious or universal archetypes. I keep a very disorganized open notebook with drawings, images and ideas. Being the daughter of a geologist, I would also like to make "fossil beds" in cement or adobe, but am looking for the right bones to "fossilize". Upcoming are some altarpieces such as 'Green Tara', (she‚s in the making in my studio now). I find my work is evolving according to my interests and needs, as well as life and world events. I think the world really needs loving, compassionate, transcendental energy right now. I know I do.

Anything can spark a piece, even words to a favorite song, "Scarlet Begonias and a Touch of the Blues". I make it sound easy, its not always so. Seeing or visualizing is one thing, making it is another. Most pieces go through a crisis period that I have to resolve somehow. Like birth. Either that or it ends up back in the bag of raw clay. But the planning and process is as important as the product. Hopefully I gain understanding on many levels while creating a piece, even the ones that I end up scrapping.

In addition to making art I am also an elementary school teacher and writer.

As a reading resource teacher last year I integrated art and writing in the classroom with sensory discovery. What a blast. However, this year, 2003, I am focusing solely on my art."

 Peggy Brundahl
PO Box 322
Navarro, CA 95463


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