© Carolyn Bernard Young, Ishki (Mother), stoneware, sgraffito, mounted on fiber board, Spirits Rising Collection, $195

The Spirit of Mother, the one who knows you, loves you, tends you, forgives you, defends you, teaches you. Mother.

“Spirits Rising” began as an altered vessel – a winged serpent carved on the front and my vision of rising spirits on the back.  These spirits spoke of the culture of my people, rising from the dust of genocide to a vibrant community devoted to preserving our history, language & customs.

Next the spirits appeared on a lidded jar and I knew they must break away from a thrown vessel to have a life & stories of their own.  The Spirit Sisters & Warrior Brothers fairly leaped to the wall of their own accord.

“Spirits Rising” embodies a new adventure for me, working with stoneware clay in a new way.  As I move away from wheel-thrown work, I will continue to tell the stories of my tribe, my family, & the history of our country in the form of wall sculpture,  figurative sculpture, & sculptural monuments.

I am thrilled that the clay still feeds my soul and makes my heart sing.  The adventure has barely begun and I can hardly wait to see where it leads.

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Contact Carolyn at 817-269-5375 or