The first few I made were cute they even had little slits for eyes but they all had capes. The cape was all about the un-veiling of the penis. I didn’t realize it until now how sweet these first few are. As of today I’m up to the grand number of 38. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but it is. Each one has to be made and then dried. After that it has to be fired to what is called a bisque. After this firing each one gets fired again. The next firing is its glaze firing. This can be with colored glazes and fired in a kiln. Another process is called raku firing. In that process the clay is heated to about 1650 degrees. After that it is taken out of the firing and placed in a trashcan with other material that will burn and covered until it stops smoking. You never know how the piece will come out because each firing is different. However, the colors can be fabulous and are often metallic. A number of the penises have this raku glaze.
Needless to say reactions to this decision were received with mixed feeling from my family. Ralph understood where I was coming form a was supportive from the beginning. Some of my children however had different reaction. I told Megan first, she said” doesn’t surprise me one bit that I would be making penises”. Erin wasn’t as thrilled and she in a way is the most liberal of the 5. She also has her daughter Bernice who is 5. Lauren said something like “What ever” she never seems surprised when I work on something a little off beat. Of the girls Sarah was the last to be told. She is the most conservative of all the children. She wasn’t overjoyed to think of her mother downstairs in the studio making penises. Plus she was still in high school and was concerned how her friends would react to all of this. Our son is married and has 3 kids. Teresa is rather conservative as well, so it was sometime before they were told.
As I started working I was very UNsure of myself. Could I really make penises? How would I ever find enough reference material to make 100? One thing I decided right off was that I would not use Ralph as a reference subject. So Ralph was at no time ever a model for me. In a very timid way I started getting online looking around for penises. Needless to say that was getting my computer a little messed up. Plus I didn’t want to go to porn sites. That didn’t leave me with much. At the time Ralph was having some work done on his computer by a computer consultant named Ryan. While he was here I started talking to him how I could get the material I need to do this project. It worked out that he was able to make me a CD with all the reference material I need. Now I was ready to really get working.
At the same time Ralph and I were watching lots of films mostly because it was January and it was a good activity to be doing. One of the films we had recently watched was “Last Tango in Paris” and I was really affected by this movie. There were many nude scenes with the girl naked, full frontal nudity. O.K. pretty normal for films epically these days.