Inspiration pops up everywhere. I am blessed to have women from both sides of my family who are extremely artistic. They are brilliant with calligraphy, marble, slate and stone carving, glass etching, dress designing, architectural model making, cooking, painting, writing and music.
One of my amazing aunties, Frances Bunyard, from England, whom we all affectionately called Frankie, was a whiz at everything she touched. One of the top architects in Cambridge, Massachusetts was working on the renovation of Faneuil Hall Market, in Boston, and in need of beautiful signage. He realized Frankie had done most of the successful calligraphed slate and gold leafed signs for Harvard University, major hospitals and churches in the area. The Mayor of Boston bestowed the honor upon Frankie Bunyard to carve and gold leaf the enormous white marble sign for Faneuil Hall.
When Frankie took ill in 1990, she very kindly bequeathed to me her remaining calligrapher’s 22 karat gold leaf. I immediately said to her, “Frankie, I’m just a potter. Why me?” She responded, “Heidi, one day soon you will wake up at three or four in the morning and know exactly what to do with this gold leaf.”
Sure enough, she was right! Pots may be glazed, but not framed, as are paintings. I figured a great way to theoretically frame a bowl or platter was to delicately add the gold leaf to the thin rims of my vessels. It completely made them visually pop.
From this early foray in to gold, I now use the 22-karat gold leaf on the interior of nearly all of my large vessels. It makes them completely glow from within. In addition, I now place this gold leaf on the back footing of all my platters. It is in this area where I sign and date all my wall works of art. People ask me why I place precious gold leaf there, where it meets only the wall. My explanation is this: Often we cannot see the goodness in someone. We pray that it is there. This is my analogy for finding the light, and finding that good. Beyond the golden glow, I’ve discovered that certain red oils turn into brilliant candy apple red over gold leaf.
Sometimes we are inspired from sources that initially seem to make no logical sense. If we believe in our dreams, we can find the vision to make these dreams come true.