ou see, last week was my dad’s birthday and so I spent some time sculpting something that he has been requesting for several months. This January, my parents undertook a sorely needed renovation of the only bathroom in our farmhouse. Since they started planning the renovation in spring/summer, my dad has been suggesting I build a sculpture to act as toilet paper dispenser and sit next to the toilet. Though I wasn’t immediately excited about the prospect, I didn’t brush it off because my Dad doesn’t usually envision ways for my art to intersect with his life. The upcoming firing of the wood-kiln at my alma-mater, U of MN Morris, compelled me to get something made to include in the firing. I decided a long-necked swan anchored by a tucked-together body might dispense the toilet paper by sliding the roll over an elongated beak pointed as a slightly up-turned angle. The piece is large: 30 inches tall when wet, so that the toilet paper is the appropriate height. The piece appears to be some ultimate example of selling out, and I will admit, at first I cringed at this proposed debasement of a piece of my sculptural work. Now I think it is rather an expression of my love for my parents, and a way to make them something they will use. Crazy huh?
I hope it survives the firing.