north dakota fields

Some Native Americans talk about it taking seven generations to get used to "new ground" and to feel like you've sprung from that ground. That may be true. I "sprung up" from Minnesota ground and her cornfields must be buried deep in my psyche as the pattern of fields so often seep into my work.

Fields are repetitive and controlled. They remind me of yoga mantras and meditation.  And I tend to quiet when I work on them.  

My first field pieces were done for my Dad in ceramics. I made a series of ceramic pieces for a show I was having in Virginia.  

Here's what I wrote about them then:

"My father, John F. Wagner, died on September 1, 2000. During the past year, I've thought about the wisdom he gained during his lifetime and have come to believe that a good part of it was attributable to the North Dakota landscape. He loved to drive those roads and was usually able to find work that permitted it. The endless long views. the moving fields, the big sky, and the quiet rhythms encouraged, I believe, a form of moving mediation that allowed a deeply quiet wisdom to emerge. These pieces are a tribute to him and that landscape. In making them, I found that the openness and simplicity of the landscape demanded a new quiet in me, as well."

no dak 7 pale.jpg

These are hard pieces to photograph because they are very long and narrow - about 8' long and 14" tall. Here's one and then close ups of a few of the individual tiles.  

I've always thought my Dad helped me make them.


And here's an extreme close-up. I love to look at the way the glaze pools

And here's an extreme close-up. I love to look at the way the glaze pools

fieldsRoberta Wagner