Space Travel

While in Bath, Maine, I stopped in at Judson Pottery. I had passed the sign for it before but it was never open during my visits, so was excited to see the “open today” sign out front. I was expecting mugs and bowls and teapots, so was pleasantly surprised to discover that Carolyn Judson is a fine artist and creates sculpture and drawings. Celestial themes feature prominently in her work. There were some wonderful ceramic sculptural reliefs of planets and the night sky.

We chatted a bit and I learned that Ms. Judson was a New York artist for many years, but has had her studio here in Bath for about 20 years. She is working on a series of lifelike sculptures of Constantin Brancusi, whom she admires. She also creates elephants, both in clay and in fine pencil drawings.

“I am particularly interested in the writings of Buckminster Fuller, impressed with his global philosophy and how he bases his thought in geometry,” she says. “Exploring further, I have discovered the beauties and mysteries of math and physics.”

Both her artwork and her artist statement remind me of a thought I used to have when, as I child, I would gaze into the night sky: I never understand how the sky ended. That is, if there were an end to the sky, what would be behind it? And if it truly goes on forever, that’s something very hard for me to fathom.

Just as Madeleine L’Engle, in “A Wrinkle in Time,” helped me to understand the universe, so, too, does Ms. Judson, as she compares it to a Mobius.

Here’s what she writes: “Since we can now look into space to the distance of 40 million light years, the idea of endlessness overwhelms me. My solution to portraying this concept is in the torus form. It is similar to the eternal twisting edge of a Mobius strip forever turning back on itself.

“This shape, the torus, has a most satisfying perfection of form. One visually travels in, out and around it in a spiral movement which is more tantalizing than traveling over a sphere or plane which are more common relational shapes.”

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1 Response to Space Travel

  1. Dear Ilene,

    What a joy to come across a person this multi-faceted, in historic Bath, Maine. I once boated boating over there from Boothbay, with my family to watch the launching of a container ship. Impressive, but, I would far rather have been with you as you discovered Carolyn Judson.

    Brancusi,Buckminster Fuller – in Maine — this is evidence to me of the universality, the global, well spatial, reach of art in our time.

    There’s never enough Brancusi — even Philadelphia’s Art Museum does not have a sufficiency. And yet, I realize, standing before one Brancusi is enough. The art paradox…

    The way Carolyn Judson’s mind works is simply delightful – the equivalent for me of taking a walk in the woods.

    Ah, but she takes us on walks in space, in endlessness…

    Someone we know whose mind works in stellar reaches, not only with regard to her art, is Marsha Levin-Rojer…

    Thank you, Ilene. I hope you brought one of her works home with you.

    Best always,


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