Conversation Piece, b-mix clay with frost slip. San Francisco, 2018 (sold). A lot of people have asked when I’m going to make the curly cord and the receiver, and the answer is that I am not. The title of this is Conversation Piece because I want it to start a conversation. I don’t want it to be so real that you walk by it without thinking. It’s about nostalgia–how we used to talk on the phone for hours, how we knew our friends’ numbers by heart, how you really had to want to reach someone because it took so long to dial. We are in an era when we are so connected, and yet at the same time, disconnected from each other. I want it to encourage listening and communicating better.
@SFMOMA selected Conversation Piece as one of its #SubmissionFriday pieces on April 13, 2018.
Film Camera, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2018. I finished the second piece in my series about nostalgia. As much as I love that digital cameras enable me to see an image immediately (including these photos of the sculpture), I think we lose something by not having to wait for our film to develop. Even after digital cameras were readily available, I initially refused to use one because I felt like there was something special in having to wait, in not knowing if I captured the moment I wanted, or if the image was blurry. But one of the best things about film for me, is that I often forget what is on a roll, and then when you get the roll developed, and see all of your images together for the first time, you get to relive the moments, including the forgotten ones. I think we lose the moment in taking 10 photos, and checking each one to see if we got it.
Camera, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2017.
Scissors, b-mix clay (left); Because of the Fires, b-mix clay with frost slip (right). San Francisco, 2017.
Self-portrait, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2017. Greenware (top and bottom left); fired (bottom right).
Left hand, black clay. San Francisco, 2018. Bisque-fired sculpture, holding special glaze firing instructions (left); glaze fired (right).
Let’s Hold Hands, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2018.
This is my first sculpture that is larger than life, and is 11 inches from the wrist to finger tip. I am right handed, and had burned my right thumb fairly badly a few days before a 2-day sculpture workshop with Brett Kern. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to work on anything, let alone something I would be proud of, but I quickly learned that my left hand might be more adept at sculpting than my right hand. In the end, I carved the majority of details using my right hand.
@SFMOMA selected this piece as one of its #SubmissionFriday pieces on September 14, 2018.
Organic Sculptural Thing, b-mix clay with frost slip and matte white glaze. San Francisco, 2018. This piece really changed and evolved as I worked on it; it seemed to have more autonomy over itself, than I had over it. I wanted it to be bulbous and tall, but because I was impatient and did not wait long enough for the clay to set, it kept collapsing. In the end, the piece became a metaphor for patience and letting go.
(W)hole, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2018.
Organic Blob I and II, porcelain. San Francisco, 2019. These pieces began as continuations of (W)hole. One of my favorite things about clay is that the medium often has a mind of its own. With these pieces, I allowed the clay to direct me, and used paddles to occasionally guide it. The more I worked on these, the more I realized they felt like three-dimensional versions of doodles I did as a child.
Vessel, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2018.
Ballerina vases, porcelain. San Francisco, 2018. This is the second collaboration that I have worked on–Ashley Hinton threw these vases, and I painted them. The ballerinas were inspired by the ethereal dancers draped in blue chiffon in George Balanchine’s Serenade, which I saw as part of the San Francisco Ballet’s Bright Fast Cool Blue.
Zipper Vase, b-mix clay with copper stain and matte white glaze. San Francisco, 2018.
Functional ergonomic pitcher, b-mix clay. San Francisco, 2018.
Lemon pitcher, b-mix clay with frost slip and underglaze paint and pencil. San Francisco, 2018.
Bike gear vase, black clay with red underglaze. San Francisco, 2018.
© Sarah Milstein 2018