In 1973 we had the pleasure of meeting with John Gardner, author, scholar, philosopher, and patron of the arts. The New York Times' critically acclaimed book reviews of Grendel prompted the commission of a Dragon sculpture. Here we find Dragon perched high in a silver maple tree, a vantage point for advising whoever is willing to listen, unlike the lair of the monster in the novel.
At the time, I was a young artist, still fully aware of my potential for developing a personal artistic style. The search for a fearsome beast in this commission conjured an antediluvian vision. Subsequently, the porcelain renditions displayed here present a maturity in manner.
The original John Gardner dragon design is made of salt-glazed stoneware clay, constructed in sections assembled with a reinforced concrete interior, essentially a cement dragon with clay skin. Dragon measured seven feet eight inches tall.
It was high in this tree, enabling a viewing vantage point from a second-story balcony.
For years I suppressed the image of the Dragon series in the apprehension of critical review. Consequently, dragon sculptures are often relegated to childish kitsch.
At times, I find critical thinking in forming art a tedious journey. So instead, I embrace the peaceful and straightforward meditative act of creating.
Clay dragons turned to stone, reflecting creative energy born of fire.
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