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The Key of Life

I often feel that an image is just an image unless it has purpose and meaning behind it, so I'd like to start writing more to incorporate my art with the vision behind it. Last year when the pandemic hit, I decided to start getting involved with ceramics. It was always something I had wanted to pursue, but the timing was never right. Finally, I found the perfect solution- a weekly Tuesday morning ceramics class. Going to the art center every Tuesday for the past year has been a ritual, and one I have learned so much from - mainly patience.

Often in painting and drawing, the ideas come fast, my hands work fast and the ideas and lines just spill on to the paper or canvas. With ceramics, the ideas come fast but the process is slow and the room for error is boundless. There needs to be a certain amount of patience involved to get everything just right. From the beginning stages of construction, to the multiple kiln firings- there is an abundance of work involved to complete one piece. One small error could cost you hours of your time and result in a piece you are not happy with. Patience is always the key, which brings me to the point of this blog.

Typically during my Ceramics class, everyone works on their own solo projects, but occasionally my teacher starts a class project that everyone takes part in. For this project, my teacher wanted us each to construct a box to hold something "sacred" in. I instantly knew what item I wanted to make the box for - my late grandmother's Ankh charm from the 1950s. 

When I was a child, I lived with my grandmother, mother, and sister. I would often go through my grandmother's jewelry boxes and try everything on. She had charm bracelets inside one of the jewelry boxes with many different charms from her travels. I remember seeing an Ankh charm and asking her what it meant. She told me it was called "The Key of Life" and that it had very special meaning. She told me about Ancient Egypt and how it was sacred to be buried with an Ankh, insuring an after-life. We enjoyed talking about Ancient Egypt as she had a lot of knowledge on the subject. 

Many years later after my grandmother passed away, my aunt let me have some of her old jewelry boxes where I found the charm bracelets and the Ankh charm. Since that day, I have worn the charm on a chain around my neck, alongside my own Ankh charm. I constructed the piece below as a jewelry box to hold the aforementioned Ankh necklaces, as to myself - they are sacred. With planning and patience, I was able to complete something I am happy with. Perhaps patience is also the "key to life".