Judy’s Story

On Memorial Day 2009, a Facebook friend posted that she was on her way to a pottery studio in Madison, WI. I happened to be on FB just then, so I asked about it since I live in Madison. I met my friend at the studio, spoke to the instructor and signed up for an adult summer class. My intent was to make pots on a wheel, but I discovered I couldn’t do it because the spinning wheel made me nauseous. The teacher put a lump of clay in my hands and told me see what happens, so I did. I’ve been hand building sculptures ever since and love it.

Autism gifts me with a literal and concrete way of thinking. My thoughts are all in pictures. Hand building sculptures allows me to show my thoughts. Each sculpture in my Brown Paper Bag series is a rendition of how a person with autism might look were all people represented by brown paper bags. Autistics may appear a little scruffy like a rumpled brown paper bag, with tears or even with the bottom of the bag missing. Some people cannot see beyond the autistic scruffies and thus miss the blessings of individual autistic uniqueness.

Each sculpture of my Whispering Strength series depicts how relationships look to me. Each sculpture is made from two main pieces of clay, each curving in its own separate way, yet fitting together to make a new whole.

I continue to enjoy expressing my visual thoughts by creating new series of hand-built sculptures.