Seeking the Ether by Sally Hudak

Using clay from a recycled “home” I had built at the BK Smith Gallery at Lake Erie College, I continued to explore comfort and nurturing through the creation of a smoke fired quilt and three pillows.  The quilt squares were painted with a white slip and smoked in an open firing using sawdust and newspaper.  They were then ‘sewn’ together with rebar wire and coated with beeswax. My hand prints and finger marks decorated the squares. A part of the installation was video and stills, documenting the firing process. During the pillow making, each of my three children pressed the side of their face into the soft clay, leaving an impression. I wanted it to appear as though they had perhaps rested their head there for a while and so this work, as I said is about nurturing and comfort.  To me a quilt is the ultimate comfort. It is a resting place.  As a child, I slept under a quilt that my maternal grandfather had made.  My clay quilt is a comfort but it is also protective as it plated and wired like a kind of armor.  Much later, I discovered that my quilt actually resembles the Early Western Han “Gold Jade clothes” that protected the bodies of Chinese emperors’ in the burial tombs.



Seeking the Ether – Smoke Fired Clay

Sally Hudak

March 10 – March 31, 2000