8’10” x 32″ x 32″
Walnut, Gold Leaf, Acrylic Paint
I discovered a large walnut tree in Fountain City years ago and because it was partially hollow I decided it would be a perfect
piece to make a giant pot or vessel out of it. I started removing the extraneous wood and roughed it out. I had an idea that it could be mead into a likeness of a huge native pottery style vessel to celebrate the unique and intricate styles of the local prehistoric vessels. I had found several pieces of early pottery “shard” and was amazed at the sense of careful detail that ancient people, presumably women, had lavished on each pot. It seems that potential high status and competition had created a ceramic race to outdo each other in those early times. The beautiful sense of proportion, design and execution had truly been at a high point in this area. The earthy brown color of this pottery lent itself to the walnut wood and I have created this piece with real local, ancient artistic detail to arrive at a large, rather austere, hollow vessel form.
I want to honor this pre-historic heritage by bringing to life a style of craftsmanship that was lost a long time ago. It is commonly assumed that the Winona area has periodically been inhabited for 12,000 years. I see the “Vessel of 12 Millennia” as a symbolic embodiment of all the wealth of place, cultural dynamics and history that make this area unsurpassed in beauty.