Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


The Dwellings Series: Emergence

The next piece in the Dwellings series is Emergence.

Dwellings: Emergence

Dwellings: Emergence

And a closer shot of the center talisman:

Emergence Talisman

Emergence Talisman

Emergence is made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The talisman is faux bone polymer clay embellished with copper beads, pearls, and turquoise. The talisman is not removable. The petals that embrace the talisman are finished in 18 kt gold leafing. Emergence is hand-sanded and buffed to a smooth finish. The base is polyurethaned wood.

This symbols in this piece are numerous. The green and yellow/gold in the surface design means healing and balancing, wisdom, communication, and the light of the sun. The copper beads symbolize transformation; the pearls symbolize infinite compassion, protection, and spiritual attunement. Turquoise is for healing and balance.

It was during the creation of this piece that I realized the Dwellings series represents the birth of a new direction in my art. It is my emergence.


Price: $450.00


The Dwelling(s) Series

A month or so back I listened to a “Dream Call” teleseminar on dream analysis. The teleseminar was hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas and featured guest speaker Lianne Raymond. I’ve always found dream analysis to be an interesting and sometimes silly venture. A good reason for that is my original explorations with dream analysis in high school and college. At that time every book I referenced considered various dream images to be sexual, phallic, or some other description that, to me, seemed way off the mark and irrelevant to what happened in the dream.

So I listened to the Dream Call with interest and a bit of skepticism until Lianne described the process she uses to analyze dreams. Her process incorporates the work of Martha Beck and asks the dreamer specific questions about what specific dream symbols mean to her. This was groundbreaking for me. Here was someone telling me that you can find your own symbolism in your dreams. That alone was a breakthrough.

That night, and for several consecutive nights, I set an intention to dream and to remember the dream upon waking. Using techniques to help me remember a dream or segments of a dream, I started to apply the process.

The majority of my dreams (at least those I remember) take place inside building like structures. It might be my home, or a less than realistic version of my home, a dorm room, the mall, an old home; always some sort of dwelling. And it was this recurrence of dwellings, of place, that inspired me to create my new series of work.

The Dwelling(s) series is inspired by dreams of home or home-like structures. In this series I contemplate what our dwellings mean to us. Are we boxed in? Constricted? Hemmed In? Secure? Are there aspects of ourselves that we dwell on?

Dwell (v): to live as a resident; reside. to exist in a given place or state. to fasten one’s attention; to treat at length.

Dwell (n): a place to live in; abode.

The first two pieces in this series are shown below:

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Contemplation (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Contemplation is made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is gold polymer clay and features carved symbols and wire wrapping. The talisman is hand-sanded and buffed. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 7.0″

Price: $300.00

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwellings: Security (Talisman Removed)

Dwelling(s): Security is also made from polymer clay over a foil and clay armature. The surface design is created with alcohol inks and blended to imitate raku. The shape of the talisman was inspired by the dwelling space revealed in the armature. The talisman is faux bone polymer clay and has been impressed with various textures. She is lightly buffed to reveal a natural brightness. The base is polyurethaned wood. The talisman is removable and can be used in meditation or placed on a home altar.

Height: 6.5″

Price: $325.00

I’m quite excited about this theme and this new series of work. The possibilities are many and the interpretations numerous. Tomorrow I’ll post another piece in the Dwelling(s) series.



Patches is made from polymer clay remnants. He symbolizes variety and diversity. Through variety and diversity we discover ourselves, we discover love and we are bountiful.

Patches is currently on display as part of the Bolton Artisans Guild‘s Heart display at the Nashoba Valley Winery. You can see all of the Guild’s heart themed art February 2 to March 2, 2009. The winery will host a wine and chocolate reception on Sunday, February 8, 2009 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.  Patches will be available for purchase after the display ends on March 2, 2009.




He brings you a bluebird of happiness

He brings you a bluebird of happiness

He gives you his heart unconditionally

He gives you his heart unconditionally



Materials: Polymer clay, aluminum foil, wire, beads, acrylic paint


Milagros Spirit Icons-Hands

Here are two pictures in the periodic posting of my Milagros Spirit Icons series. These two Milagros Spirit Icons represent the hands and/or arm. The hand/arm Milagros represents our connection to others. Our hands are the way we relate to the world; we reach out to others and others return our touch.

The hand/arm Milagros also represents labor; that which we use to complete our work; and are the instruments through which our creativity flows-through art, music, writing. Finally, the hand Milagros can represent healing through touch/massage, energy/Reiki, and prayer.

Look at your hands and think of all the ways you use them throughout the day. Your hands are one of your connections to the world.

Hand Milagros Spirit Icon

Hand Milagros Spirit Icon

Milagros Spirit Icon Hand & Arm

Milagros Spirit Icon Hand & Arm


Milagro Spirit Icons: The Heart

Milagros is Spanish for Miracle. In Folk Art, Milagros are talismans against illness, trouble and pain. They are symbols of hope or dreams; a promise made or fulfilled.

I became intrigued with Milagros during our trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico in September, 2007. The Milagros I purchased during that trip became the inspiration for this series of icons.

Today I present the Heart Milagro Spirit Icon. The heart Milagro represents love, healing, and gratitude. It is the most common image offered at shrines. Unlike our heart valentine, traditional heart Milagros are anatomically correct; some even have blood vessels coursing across the front. A heart Milagro may bring you a healthy heart, and may bring passion to your life and to the love you have for another.

The Heart Milagro Spirit Icon is approximately 10″ tall. His halo is a hammered bottle cap with a patina finish. The Milagro can be removed and worn on a necklace or bracelet. The Blessing Bottle holds prayer or wish.


Small Milagro Spirit Icons

In a burst of energy as I was preparing for the Paradise City show last month, I decided to create not only the large Milagro Spirit Icons (which I will post; I promise) but smaller Milagro Spirit Icons.  To keep the retail price affordable, I used small face molds (versus sculpting each head), created a solid form body structure, and mounted the icons on a base of polymer clay.  The Milagros were created from hand colored and stamped shrink plastic (versus authentic handcrafted silver Milagros.)

Therefore, these icons were a little simpler in construction than the large icons and were also created in batches (e.g. all the heads at once, all the bodies at once, etc).  By taking a production-like approach I was able give them a mid-level price tag which placed them in-between the price of the Vaughn Hills Sprites and the large Milagro Spirit Icons.  And each one still retains its own personality.


Blessings Icon

It took a few days before I finished this icon which I started in Laurie Mika’s workshop in March.  First, I had to walk away from it.  It needed to sit and I needed to return to it with fresh eyes.  Then when I attempted to photograph it, the icon fell over and some tiles popped off.  Sigh.  It just wasn’t ready for its “debut.”

Now, however, it is ready.  Here is my Blessings Icon.

  Close up of the centerpiece

  Lower right corner

  Lower left corner

Top portion


Art Date: New Art Center-icons & altars 2007

On Friday I visited the icons & altars 2007 show at the New Art Center in Newton.  icons & altars is the New Art Center’s 14th Annual Benefit Exhibition that features the work of 98 regional artists who were invited to create an ‘icon’ or ‘altar’ that was social, personal, spiritual, or cultural.

Some of the art pieces, such as Claudia Arcia’s doll which was suspended in a woven basket, were jarring and made me wonder “What inspired this piece?”

Some pieces were subtle and possessed an air of innocence, such as Lorey Bonante’s ballet slipper and small bird encased in beeswax, Alyssa Jone’s “Good Fortune” which featured a collection of Chinese cookie fortunes on wood with a large copper mesh fortune cookie at the center and Mark Cooper’s “Mask” which had a simply drawn face (that reminded me of a teddy bear) surrounded by miscellaneous shapes and doodles.

Other pieces incorporated nature themes or nature itself such as Maddy Bragar’s “Diablo,” Kelly Burke’s “The Mystery of Faith,” and Marja Lianko’s “Garden Games #3; Morgan’s “Untitled (Fish)” and Judith Motzkin’s “Cairn.”

Unique use of material can be seen in Sharon McCartney’s “Morning Sermon” (mixed media on vintage linen), Ceci Mendez’s “Correspondence” (insides of security lined envelopes) and Tracy Spadafora’s “Sweet Memories (14 Bottles).”  Remember those wax candy bottles?

And probably the most humorous (to me) was Leigh Medeiros’ “You Can’t Have Both” that featured a large cake in the center of hard board.

It is always a joy to visit small galleries and exhibitions.  They are sometimes more casual and feel less “sterile” than visiting a large museum.  It is also a great way to view the works of local artists and perhaps find a piece of art work by an “up and coming” artist.

To view the online slide show of icons & altars 2007, click here