Halldor Hjalmarson

The Infancy Gospel

Stoneware clay, 12" wide, wheel thrown with sculpted and cast birds, with shadows made from outlines of his granddaughters hands. Fired in reduction to 2350F.

Artist Statement: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas about the childhood of Jesus, which is believed to date to the 2nd century, details a story about the young Jesus who is playing by a stream and making small clay birds. Being it is the Sabbath, a neighbor complains that Jesus is playing, and calls to Mary and Joseph to take the child indoors. As he is called in, he gives life to his twelve birds, and they fly away… astounding the neighbors. Some believe that this is a prediction of Jesus sending Disciples out to spread the Word of God.

This story reminds me of the responsibility we are given, as expressed in prayer at the end of the Eucharist, when we say: "And now Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord."

bio: Halldor and Gail Hjalmarson live and maintain a clay art studio in the Roosevelt Historic District of central Phoenix, and they are members of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral where he completed his EFM course. He is a graduate of Arizona State University and active with their Ceramic Research Center; and is an active member of the clay community in Arizona.

Surface embellishment is Halldor’s specialty and he has developed unique techniques of imparting imagery to the clay surface. He has often tempted viewers with his “micro landscapes” of animal and plant life found in our Sonoran Desert. He sculpts, casts and then composes and sprigs these molded images onto surfaces of his vessels.

Information detailing his techniques may by found in his book "Old Dog, New Tricks."

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