JUDITH KEPNER ROSE
My most significant influences are African, Inuit and Outsider art traditions. I am especially drawn to the anthropomorphic creatures whose eyes peer out, or heads tilt, pondering things unknown. Those are the pieces that have things to say, if only I would stop and listen. They hold the wisdom of the ancients.
I was a potter at one time, making mugs and bowls, but after a visit to Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens, I knew that even if I could not create my own world as he did, I could start making my own creatures to populate it. Many have come forth since, multiplying in wire, in ceramic, in cement. Many of the creatures are rabbits, but birds, fish and an armadillo have also recently appeared.
For the past two years I have worked exclusively in stone: marble, limestone and lava rock. I use an assortment of tools including angle grinders, pneumatic chisels, and die grinders. It’s a demanding, slow and dusty process. It is also a risky process-one wrong hit with the chisel could mean too much comes off, or a crack appears. As an artist I have had to become more resilient, slower and more meditative.
The joy comes from finding the creature in the block and helping it emerge.
418 Main Street
Left or Right?
Coffee or Tea?
Favorite medium to work in?
What do you think your spirit animal is?
Best childhood memory?
Watching the bats emerge from Carlsbad Caverns
Favorite vacation spot?
The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in Rutland, VT
What cartoon character would you be?
Winnie the Pooh
The Wizard of Oz
If you had to spend a night in jail who would you want to spend it with?
Most influential work of art?
Inuit stone carvings