A Word about M.L. Snowden’s Clay and Bronze

Snowden’s primary art takes shape in clay. In Snowden’s hands, her clay is no ordinary medium, but a lustrous, illuminating medium that tranduces and conducts energies. Snowden imports a special European clay, a terre glaise doux, or sweet earth clay related to argile refractaire, that comes from a deeply mined natural source in France. In Snowden’s estimate, earth clays contain valuable properties of energetic conduction that respond to touch, since clay according to Snowden “is a colloidal suspension of quartz crystals that naturally conduct energy.” As M.L. Snowden remarks, “All that I think and feel comes to be translated into clay when I touch it. Clay inhabits a central harmonic kind of music that embodies Kepler’s Law. I say this because in this observation, the spacing of the planets inhabits the same numeric ratio as the spacing of the fingers of our human hand, that enjoys the same ratio  spacing as the progressive musical notes of the diatonic scale. The same ratio extends to the spacing of branching root, leaf, and human arterial systems; where the same ratio defines the spacing of the quartz crystals that make up my clay. And the ratio extends to the harmonic interstices and crenellations of my bronze work. I like to think that the harmonic relationships that infuse us and that surround us are celebrated in my clay and bronze sculptures. In my imagination, in their deepest sense, my bronzes are a kind of timeless crystallized music.”


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