Artist's Remarks:

"Beacon Stele" by Clayton Thiel


Beacon: something that warns or guides. Stele: An upright stone or slab

with an inscribed or sculptured surface, used as an ornament or as a

commemorative tablet.


The first concern in designing "Beacon Stele" was the abstraction of the form

of a bell (the long, narrow black shape that swings in the center). Its

purpose is symbolic of announcement or warning. The shape of the bell was

inspired by bronze bells made during the Chow Dynasty in China. The bells

were rung to announce prayer time in Buddhist monasteries and shrines.


The contures of the base, posts, and lental that surround the bell evolved

out of my inclination to hand build clay sculpture using the dome as a basic

unifying element, changing the sizes, colors, and textures of the shapes for

variety. The various dome shapes were made separately then stacked like

sleeves over an armature of steel tubing lodged in cement concealed in the

hollow base. The armature prevents the pieces from getting knocked over.


The colors of ceramic glaze are weather durable and never fade because they

are fired on the clay at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, this sculpture

is suitable for outdoor display.


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