Joanie Turbek

Handle with care, do not leave unattended

Handle with care, do not leave unattended

Clay, heating elements

I was in graduate school when my brother’s first child was born. I flew to NY to visit her and spent six days sitting on the couch with a baby in my arms and my family by my side. When I came back to school, I felt lost. Our lives were so artificially free from everything that I had experienced that week, no family, no children, love only as an aside. There was nothing to cradle there and we were the worse for it.

My niece was far away, so I went looking for other baby-sized objects. I came across a turkey in the supermarket that seemed about right. I cast it in a low fire slip, treated its surface with terra sigillata, and outfitted it with heating elements from an old appliance. It was a warm object with a smooth feel, a good weight, and it made a nice humming sound when plugged in. When it was shown I invited my peers to hold the turkey, to enjoy its heat and weight. It was a lesson in social dynamics.

Apparently some people find it enjoyable to cradle turkeys in public and some do not.

Categorised as: Work

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