Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dead Heads

When we lived in Austin I enjoyed going to Mexicarte, a little gallery that specialized in Mexican and South American art works. There were three things in particular that I liked.

They had these tiny Guatemalan "worry dolls". The story with them is that if you were plagued by worries, you could share them with the little doll and it would accept the worry, leaving you free to sleep easily.

They also had little hand-painted armadillos made out of tiny gourds. Each armadillo had a little bobbing head protruding from a hole carved in the gourd.

And they had lots of "Dia de los muertos" figures. Day of the Dead. Little displays of skeletons, often whimsically dressed, that were brought out in late October to honor deceased loved ones.

A few weeks ago I started thinking about this stuff and remembered that I had some modeling clay in my home office. I went up and fashioned a little "dead head" that resembled the dia de los muertos skulls. The first one I made was pretty good, but I had the oven turned up too high and the finished product looked like it had been burned at the stake. But once I figured out the right temperature, I started cranking the things out en masse. The photo below shows two of my early heads.

I don't think this is the start of a second career for me, but I've enjoyed making all the little marble-sized dead heads.

No comments: