This is a work that has spanned years and years. I shaped this ceramic pangolin over ten years ago back in Illinois but never fired it. I’d wrapped in damp paper and bubble wrap and packed it away. It lay hidden through three moves. Recently, I created a writing retreat for myself. I was stuck on a plot device in the screenplay for “White Storm” and decided solitude and a remote environment was what I needed.I signed up for Jackrabbit Retreat in 29 Palms, California, tucked away near the Joshua Tree Preserve. I discovered that the owner, Betty Jo Duke was a ceramics guru. The retreat doubled as Fox and Crow Studio
. While arranging accommodations, I asked her if pottery is ever too old to fire. She told me to bring it along, and she’d take a look at it.
After a gloriously successful session at Jackrabbit Retreat (except for the part where I filled the house with smoke because I don’t know how to properly handle a fireplace), I left my dry little pangolin in her tender loving care. On her next firing, she glazed it, and lo and behold! it did not explode in the kiln. Here he is with one of BJ’s raven’s looking on. He must have gotten a little flattened before he completely dried, because he is a little more cubical than the original shape. Not a surprise after sitting in a box for ten years!
More photos are up in Facebook.
BJ and I traded emails about project hoarding. It’s nice that one of them came to final fruition.
Incidentally, a pangolin is a scaly anteater. They are from Asia and Africa and can get quite large. .