Brick by brick

January 11, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Phoenix artist Patricia Sannit has been hard at work for months on her Citadel (based on an actual citadel in the Kurdish region of Iraq), with the help of dozens of volunteers. In the following e-mail to the people who helped her, she describes the progress. The exhibition, Citadel, opens at the Ceramics Research Center on Feb. 5; the season opening reception for the Museum and the CRC is Feb. 18. Hope you’ll join us!

Hello all you lovely people!

So many of you helped me along every step of the way toward the completion of Citadel. Every phase has seemed all consuming to me, it is hard to imagine that the final phase is underway!

Lots of you mixed clay, made bricks, or provided clay, a truck, moral support, positive thoughts, provocative conversation, entertaining dialogue, cooling ideas, brilliant solutions, muscle power, or just really wanted to help but couldn’t. It was all so valuable.

Most recently, legions of you (friends and students and husbands and partners, maybe even strangers?) helped me get the bricks and blocks and pavers of Citadel to (Phoenix College) for firing. THAT was a day!

Every day since then, the kilns at PC have been humming. We have loaded and unloaded each gas kiln 5 times, and most of the electrics have been working constantly as well. There have been some disasters, but when I surveyed the tables covered in bricks today, the sight was pretty impressive. We lost about 15 all together, out of a total of 500 bricks. Not bad! The raw clay, so beautiful, is now fired and hard and a warm toasty color, in many variations.

I spent today with Darrell, Alberto and Joe at Phoenix College sorting and labeling hundreds of bricks. The last kilns were loaded yesterday and fired off today. Darrell and Alberto did a beautiful job filling cracks and repairing some of the more damaged bricks. Joe devised a labeling system.

There were sooooooo many bricks. Once again, I grossly underestimated the sheer amount of work involved, and once again (amazingly), lovely people showed up and helped.

I have not said thank you enough times because it would be impossible for me to thank any of you enough.

I am so grateful to all of you!


Below: The final load/unload crew, from left, Joe Valenzuela (ASU global studies student), Sannit, Kelly Hansen (Sannit’s assistant), Katie-Allen-Inman and Emily Chang.

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Sad news Susan M. Ables Memorial @ ASU Art Museum

January 2011

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