Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 22.1 (2001) 45-50
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Offering; Plumb; Planta; Bowl; Plenty
I am a maker of objects that encounter space. These objects are about fragility and balance. My environment, my dreams, what I read, where I go, and what I see inspire me. It is a challenge to freeze these images in time. These elements may suggest a vessel, womb, pod, fruit, or fragments that contain important information.
The essence of my vision is expressionistic and minimal. What influences me is the need to pare down each object to the bare essentials; I want no extraneous information. For me it is a series of elements placed in such a way on a table or a flat surface as to form a whole. Bronze is a traditional material; combining it with other materials is a challenge. This combination forces the viewer to see it in a contemporary way.
Since the early 1990s, I have been working with images that deal with containment, nurturing, and giving reverence to that which encloses--containers, storage vessels, seedpods all containing a life force. Water nourishes our growth. It quenches our thirst. It is silent. It is sacred. My more recent work has incorporated seeds and pods to create organic-like pod shapes. They are my ancient ceremonial vessel forms. These vessel forms are metaphors. [End Page 45]
Offering, 1997-98, bronze, steel, iron, 96" x 41" x 10". [End Page 46]
Plumb, 1994, bronze, wood, concrete, 8' x 4' x 4'. [End Page 47]
Plenty, 1997, cast iron, wood, wax, 4" x 12" x 12". [End Page 48]
Bowl, 1997, iron concave vessel, 5' x 16" x 32". [End Page 49]
Planta, 1998, cast iron, bronze wood, 96" x 60" x 10".
Cynthia Handel teaches at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she has been hired for her metal casting expertise. She is a maker of objects about fragility and balance, and her work is about containment. She is currently working on her second public commission for the city of San Jose, California. Cynthia received an LSU Faculty Summer Research Grant to work with sand casting techniques. She has compiled a directory, Women In the Field of Cast Metal, and has lectured nationally on women's contributions in metal casting.
Copyright © 2001 by Cynthia Handel