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About the Artist ~ Studio & Creative Process

Patricia BurlesonStudio

I work in a light filled room of a Victorian house shared with other artists in Brattleboro, Vermont. A woodworking bench with simple tools stands next to a table loaded with treasures I've scavenged.

One wall is lined with boxes labeled: bones, dolls, inner tube, small rusted metal, shoes, wire, and bottle caps. Buckets holding sticks, rake heads, bamboo blinds, and found metal crowd the corner in loosely organized chaos. Stacks of favorite books including Native American, African, and Contemporary art are mingled with sketches.

Creative process

Patricia BurlesonWhen an idea emerges, usually something mundane (clothes hung on a line, ice melting in the spring, the close relationship with my sister, exploring a color) I gather a palette from the boxes of junk and see how they speak to each other.

There are NO RULES for attaching pieces together. I use basic basket techniques: coiling, weaving, lashing and simple woodworking joinery along with fiber methods: netting, sewing and wrapping. Technique is simply a means of transforming the recycled materials into something new. Because the materials are so odd and challenging to work with, I am constantly inventing.

Patricia BurlesonWhy use junk?

I see beauty and humor in the detritus of our lives: rusted bottle caps in a parking lot, sticks chewed by beavers from my river walks, worn out kitchen utensils, old toys. There is a rich legacy of memory in this junk. The objects I use have history or are recognized by most people and remind them of time, place, and events.

Why a vessel shape?

Working with a shape that is continuous with an interior and exterior allows me to focus the viewerÕs eye. A story unfolds in the round while the outside can be another canvas or support the inner world. I enjoy the intimacy of these sculptures, a small cosmos.

Creativity feeds my spirit and heals my body and mind.


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