one hundred ninety-four cardinals


(collaboration with Mark D. Roberts)
These mummy figures were created through a salt-firing process (thanks to Chuck Solberg) that involves adhering pieces of berries, steel wool, and wire to the bisque-fired clay before it goes through the final salt-firing. The salt fumes have a dramatic reaction on the clay under heat.  These elements are responsible for the mottled, almost bone-like appearance.

The mystery of this piece became evident when we started constructing the architectural framework of the catacomb.  First, we laid out one large printer case alongside three smaller ones to achieve a balanced arrangement.  Out of curiosity we visited the Vatican web site to find out how many cardinals there were at that time -which was one hundred ninety-four. When we counted up all the cells to see how close (or far off we were) we were shocked to discover that they came to exactly one hundred ninety-four!

  • medium: salt-fired earthenware clay mummy sculptures in vintage type-face cases and frame
  • dimensions: 34″ x 82”