In my thesis proposal I said I wanted to make four large scale works, relative as a group but individual. As the work evolved in the design stage, it became obvious to me that what I was doing was designing a sculpture garden. I have referred to my thesis work as The Sculpture Garden since, and refer to it as such throughout this paper. The individual sculpture pieces I refer to as 'markers'. After much critical discourse with Rick Hirsch, I determined that the sculptures I wanted to create were in fact markers or signposts, beacons to whatever audience they might attract, with a message - some meaning for those who pass. The Sculpture Garden turned out to be seven sculptures, varying in size from 18" to 6'4", composed around a ceramic block path 16' x 16'. The work took 2800 pounds of clay and eight weeks to build. The scale of the work and it's composition had the impact I was looking for. It seemed to catch the attention and curiosity of the viewer. I watched people walk around The Sculpture Garden examining individual pieces and then the work as a whole. The work represented two years worth of experimentation in graduate school, and years of being influenced by a love of ancient Mayan art and architecture. It was my intention in creating The Sculpture Garden to take the pedestal out from under ceramic sculpture, to flirt with architecture by magnifying scale thus magnifying the 'presence' of the piece; to create the feeling of being in a place where something incredible had or could happen. This paper is an autobiographical account of what lead up to the creation of The Sculpture Garden and a discussion of what the work means.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Ceramic sculpture--Themes, motives; Ceramic sculpture--Technique; Mayan art--Influence

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Schmitz, Robert

Advisor/Committee Member

Williams, Jud


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NK4235 .D476 1997


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