I think gargoyles have been misunderstood; the frightening images that come alive in horror movies are only a minority of gargoyles. They are downspouts, decorated with the open mouths of creatures, some real, some mythical. They are perched on high far out of the reach and often out of the sight of the person on the ground looking up. Who were they made to please, who’s agenda did they further? With clay in my hands, shaping a gargoyle I consider the people who have made these forms out of stone. I imagine a sculptor making his living as a stone mason given the opportunity to show his art. He sculpts from his thoughts and dreams and fancy. He uses the creatures around him as inspiration and the stories he’s hear of the amazing things that live in far away countries he will never see. He uses his education and wit to make comment on the people around him. Does that pig look like the town banker? That lion with the frown has eyes just like the mayors.
I enjoy making gargoyles into ocarinas. I give them a voice to sing after so many centuries silent, watching over a changing landscape. I sometimes decorate them with scenery. A night forest, a field under a bright sun, a quiet river; I call them gargoyle dreams.