Our Totem Project has us considering the personal symbolism of materials we use to create art. I hadn’t thought of materials themselves as metaphors before, just the sensory experience of materials. Joseph Beuy sees materials also as things that transcend matter, perhaps as physical and metaphysical. His concept of finding a solution between two poles reminds me of a quote that I remember, but can’t remember who said it. It is that the answer is contained in the question.

To me, depending on its form, fat is a fuel, a lubricant, a reduction. It is a carrier of other things. Felt is entropy to the point of entrapment. It is a normal process (such as shedding) bunched up on itself – it is time to shave the dog.

What non-traditional materials do I respond to aesthetically? Anything silky, for sure. Glitter. Is glitter traditional? Bottle caps can be interesting. Mirrors. I love little mirrors. I don’t know that I can connect them with my person history, besides always loving shiny things. I am very touch/texture oriented, and had sort of a renaissance of the tactile when I grew up, after being told not to touch things for so long. As an adult, I can touch things, dammit! I love artwork and museum exhibits I can touch. (Now I am a massage therapist – I touch for a living.) I do love metal as a medium. Between the elemental quality of it and its diversity, it is very attractive to me. Again, I can’t see how it relates to my history.

My totem will have a part to be touched. It relates to my grandfather and the rubber grapes in their coffee table centerpiece that I often tried to squeeze, but he always stopped me. We may now squeeze the grapes to our heart’s content! Squeeze, baby, squeeze!