This is a one of a kind sculpture by Jane Chischilly of Chischilly Pottery. Height: 22 inches............ Width: 18 inches
This sculpture is my original design and handwork. She is the Priestess of my personal Pantheon of the Spirits of Nature. Being fascinated from a very young age by the legends of the Greek Gods and Goddesses, I read every book I could find in the grade school library. I loved the gigantic personalities of these characters and the fantastic powers over the forces of Nature. When my clay work began to evolve in the direction of faces, figures and busts, it was only a matter of time 'til it occurred to me to personify the spirits of the earth and sky as they appeared in my own mind. Of course, I then had to imagine a Priestess who facilitated communication between the Spirits of Nature and those who inhabit Nature... (that would be us.)
In working on this piece, I wanted to express dignity and reserve. She carries out her ceremonial duties with the devotion required of a conduit to the spirit world. As I worked on her face and made decisions about her appearance, I tried to convey nobility and maturity and strength. I prefer to express the beauty of strength over mere prettiness of form.
I work very intuitively. Starting with a raw idea or concept, I usually have only a vague, nebulous collection of ideas to begin. As I set up the structure of the sculpture, the vision becomes more real and solid in my mind... the elements I want to use, the overall look of the form... the attitude of the head, the expression and shape of the face all start to become more solid in my imagination. One part of the design is confirmed, leading to the next and the next element. Until I get my hands on the clay, I am never sure exactly what the end result will be. My way of working is to be guided by my instincts and to let the flow of ideas take me where they will. The evolution of ideas, shapes, forms, technical challenges, and design elements constantly circulate through my mind until connections start to be made. Part of the work involves the technical aspect of constructing a complex ceramic structure, i.e., if I want wings as part of the head dress, I have to figure out how to make them stay put. It actually takes a great deal of strategic planning to make sure that the addition of each piece is successful. It is a good thing that I like a challenge.
I have never been satisfied with using clay in a conventional manner and have always pushed the limits of the medium in exploring my own artistic vision. Spirits of the Earth, Sky, Ocean, Winds, Nebulae, Stars, Trees, Fruit, Flowers; Shamans and Magicians; Mythological Beasties and all connections with Nature, Spirit, Transformation and Imagination all cycle through my mind, combine and coalesce into my art.