Ruth Wilson - As a child I loved to play "pretend". My playmates and I dressed up in our elegant dresses, jewelry, and hat's (mom's old clothes) and went into another world.
The bakery we maintained was filled with mud confections and the world we served them in was concocted from the wonderful books my grandmother read to us, the rich illustrations, little furniture my dad made, doll clothes created by my mother and grandmother. Most of all it was pre TV in our town, my parents enjoyed make believe games, beautiful books and let us completely immerse ourselves into fantasy. We played by the hour. We built leaf houses, snow forts, exotic tent houses filled with satins and silks (old housecoats and dresses). In the winter months the living room was given over to our toy train, which ran under the furniture, through the doorways - we built bridges, towns, and farms, whatever we could imagine.
When it came time to choose a career, (nurse, secretary, or teacher) I chose teacher. I majored in elementary education, taught 10 years, then quit to go back and get a Masters Degree in Art Education (the frustrated artist was surfacing). I returned to teaching and did some painting on the side, 1986-1989. This took the form of landscapes done in pastels on sanded paper. I sold most of these through Galleries.
In 1995 I got married and retired from teaching so I could have an art career. Wow! Did I go into a tailspin! Suddenly having unstructured time on my hands was like being given a big white canvas and being told, "you can paint anything you want". The question comes up, what do I have to say that is so monumental, or beautiful, or brilliant -- you get the picture (so to speak). And my dear new husband is quietly wondering, "what did I get into?"
So off I went to what turned out to be 'My Thing". I signed up for a ceramic class at NHCC, where I met kind and inspiring artists and a super instructor, Roy Hanscom.
I found out I really loved working with the clay (goes back to mud pies) and that hand building was my thing. After a few semesters Life took a different path, with the illnesses of our parents and their passing, school was put aside. During this sad time Terry and I talked about our dreams (death is very sobering) and decided to follow a new and daring path. While Terry was finishing his career as a computer consultant, I got to design a new house and studio, right down to the wiring and plumbing. What a joy! Something I had dreamed of doing since childhood. We visualized the type location we wanted - so when we saw it, things fell into place. The land was his canvas and the studio was mine. (all to be shared from time to time with our dear children and grandchildren).
Once we got settled, 'The Great Clay Adventure' began. Still was a question of which way to go (what will I make today?) until one day I put together the right combination and 'Stanley With his Purse and Al and Te' came into being. I knew then there would be a series - the ideas are endless.
As time goes along I'm sure other constructions will come about, but right now the different characters with their attitudes, foibles, and whatever else pours out of the mixture, blended from life's experiences, is what is happening.
One of life's greatest gifts is the imagination. We have but to allow ourselves to honor this gift and we can achieve our dreams.
The fun and satisfaction I get doing my sculpture is not complete without sharing them with others. I really enjoy what people have to share.
However people view my work, I hope it to be an enjoyable journey into the world of imagination.
Once I relaxed and allowed myself to play with my "art" instead of taking it so seriously I honored my imagination instead of dismissing it as "wasting my time", "day dreaming". For me, and I can only speak for myself, reaching this realization has been a major struggle. It has been a stunning surprise to find others seem to like the characters and consider them art. What joy!
Since the public showing of my work I've discovered viewers like to hear about the characters, so I thought I might try writing tales involving the different ones. What a challenge - my hat is off to all writers.
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