For the last decade she has been sitting quietly on the top shelf of the bookcase watching over the back hall. For reasons that I have never examined too closely, I never felt comfortable having her on display in the living room nor that it might be necessary to do so.
I vaguely remember her creation – I was youngish. Maybe about 6-9? But certainly long before my teens. I don’t spend a lot of time remembering that portion of my life. There was reading, there was home where I did a lot of reading and school which I detested with every last fiber of my being. The only thing worse at that time of my life was riding the school bus. Which means, if I want to narrow down a time frame, it must have been when we lived in Hopkins on Drill Lane since I don’t remember my mother doing much sculpting after we moved out to Excelsior. It is stunning to realize, when I count back that this means my mother at the time was about the age that our Eldest is now.
Never seeing a likeness nor understanding her slightly asymmetrical face I had relegated her possession to somewhere in the back of my mind. Even when Maus created a self-portrait bust I didn’t see a resemblance. Stubborn set to the chin – no question but to me the face/head are generic. I also don’t remember exactly when she came into my possession. I know that my sister managed to get Atlas to me after we moved to Heidelberg. I am still wondering what happend to the Giant in chains who I always appreciated- but the Lady?
Then today I had hats to photograph. After doing various assorted standard flat things, it occurred to me that a bust might be just the ticket.
Cleaning off a thick layer of dust gave me an idea of exactly how long she has been ignored and neglected. Both the block of the base needed careful tending. She is porcelain clay with a glaze.
Then I tried on the hats!