Saturday, May 1, 2010

Time, Life, and Clay

Toyahvale Texas Church by Linda Starr
7 x 5 x 5 inches, porcelain with slip

The date on my camera said February 2010, but it seems so long ago when I visited this church in Toyahvale, Texas. I'm just now realizing how stressful it is, picking up and moving across the country from one coast to another. A bit like placing oneself in a bottle, a cork inserted afterwards, and being tossed into the sea, not knowing when or where you will land, or, even if, you will land.

Toyahvale Texas Church by Linda Starr
(side view)

It seems like a lifetime ago when we set out, and yet it was only a couple of months ago. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. I remember wanting to replicate the church in clay, and make other types of buildings, but thought there was no way they would survive traveling in an RV across the country. So I put my ideas aside till today.

Toyalvale Texas Church by Linda Starr
(before slip decoration)

original church in Toyahvale Texas

Here's the church which inspired me a short time ago, but so long ago. I added ledges and a pillar in the center of the building to help hold up the roof. I noticed from a photo in my previous post the interior of the actual church had rafters holding up the roof. Perhaps I should have used rafters and made the roof removable. It would be fun to actually see the rafters made of clay, just like the original building was constructed. I could have used kanthal wire for the bell and later added a rope to ring the bell after firing. I've always been fascinated with architecture, so making buildings with clay affords me an opportunity to learn more about construction techniques. I haven't actually made it to the Atlantic Ocean yet, maybe next week I'll take a bottle and throw it into the ocean with a note inside. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Oh, good for you for making this! I printed out that photo and put it up on the wall in my studio. I love what you did! I meant to make one and never got to it, glad you did, it is such a beautiful church!!

  2. Hi Tracey, thanks I wish I could capture the essence of the interior with the light coming through the skylights. I thought about making another one with a door that opens and skylights incorporated into the roof. I'm glad you liked it; I remember how inspired you were by the church and the piece you made at the time; it was so beautiful. Over the years I have seen so many churches with beautiful design; I wanted to make them in clay and I never have, perhaps now that I have thought of it I shall make a few of them.

  3. I just love your little church. Great capture.
    I can so relate to your journey to find a new home. The main difference between us was that I at least knew what state I wanted to settle in and I wasn't toting so much. You had to find a state and a home. You can relax now and enjoy.

  4. I love how you captured the church. Maybe now do an interior piece- maybe as a drawing on a plate or tile.

    It is amazing that you guys trusted that you would end up exactly where you needed to be -- seems like you've found a wonderful property & that you are getting close to making it your home.

    You're going to love having a pool --and the Florida sunshine.

  5. Hi Patti, thanks, we have one more hurdle, well two, one is Gary still has to get the treasure bus out here, and we have to remodel the inside of the home, mostly paint and floors and then we'll be able to relax, but we are taking a day here and there to relax, trying to stick with our promise to ourselves.

    Hi Judy, thanks, that is such a great idea making a companion piece to go with the church to show the interior; I'll give that some thought. Funny when I was a kid I always used to draw palm trees when I doodled and when we lived in Hawaii when I was in the fourth grade I had a muumuu my mom could hardly get off of me to wash I love it so much and I still remember the white ginger fragrance from back then, so you may be right a tropical place such as this may be just the place I should be.

  6. 生命就像騎單車一樣,除非你停止踩踏板,否則不會掉下去。 ..................................................

  7. Hi 昱廷昱廷 , thanks for your thoughts:

    Life is like riding a bicycle the same, unless you stop pedaling, they will not fall off

  8. It made me smile to see how much your church looked like the real church. The proportions are dead on. It would be fun to see the inside. You could do a series on the church.

  9. I love the way you have incorporated your travels in your art. You did a nice job of getting the likeness of the church!

  10. Linda,
    Pretty neat! I wouldn't have even thought to make this. Creative you are. And your post reminds me of how stressful it is to move.... the experts say it's more stressful than a death in the family. Hmmm

  11. Hi Barbara, thanks, I'm thinking of a series of churches now as their architecture is so beautiful.

    Hi Connie, thanks, making a model of something in clay is fun and a challenge.

    Hi Amy, thanks, I've moved many times, but for some reason this time was more stressful than other moves.

  12. Hi Linda

    Really a lovely little church! I love it! It seems to me that the church symbolizes your state of mind at present; your heart has finally found a peaceful and cozy place like a retreat where you can truly relax.....

    PS Your swimming pool looks great!!

  13. i love your little church, looks just like the photo! and your pool looks fantastic too ;)

  14. Hi Sapphire, thanks, you have hit the nail on the head, I am just now feeling that way about living here and I am re-learning how to swim in my pool, very relaxing just what I needed.

    Hi Kim, thanks, yes the pool is a wonderful thing for my old bones and stressed out psyche.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment