Ann Russ handbuilds ceramic memorial urns, reliquaries, and Spirit Bowls – vessels for honoring the sacredness of life and its transitions. Wonder and awe of the mystery of life are at the heart of her work. Nature is her inspiration. Ann’s studio is on Baraga St. in downtown Marquette.
Ann is the originator and organizer of The100DayProject. She curated The100DayProject exhibit at the Marquette Arts & Culture Center gallery on display in October/November 2013.
Catherine Benda joined Ann as a partner in The100DayProject in November 2013. They are currently planning and organizing the Community 100DayProject which launches in January 2014.
Samples of Ann’s artwork can be found at www.AnnRuss.com
Short video clip of Ann’s work at The100DayProject exhibit at Peter White Public Library in November 2013:
My 100DayProject exploration:
“I love simplicity in all of its forms. For me, simplicity is a peaceful remedy to the loud, fast, and complex world we live in. My 100 day project is about exploring simple shapes, texture, pattern, and design”.
My Project Rules:
“My first rule is to work with clay to create simple forms different from my regular work in the studio. My second rule is when I travel, I switch to paper”.
If I could tell people ONE thing about starting a 100 day project:
“Dedicate and consecrate a space to work on your project. Protect it from interlopers. This is critical”.
Each artist was asked to respond to the same questions. Read what Ann had to say:
What was it like to get started with your project?
“Getting started for me was complicated. I had just taken on the responsibilities of organizing the 100DayProject exhibit and associated community project — and I wondered if I’d spread myself too thin by also doing my own 100 day project.
“To further complicate things, I had so many project ideas floating around in my head, it was hard to choose just one. All were fascinating in their own way”.
What suggestion would you offer to others about starting a 100 day project?
• Pick your first strong idea and make a clear commitment to it.
• Dedicate and consecrate a space to work on your project. Protect it from interlopers. This is critical.
• Get started! Take that first challenging step – it’s the best way to overcome procrastination and resistance.
What was the biggest challenge you faced with your 100 day project?
“The biggest challenge was getting over the loss of the project idea I really wanted to work on but had to abandon for a number of good reasons. So I chose another idea instead.
“This was like breaking up with the love of your life, then marrying the next person who comes along. A rebound relationship! Not nearly the passion, but workable. But I grew to love my second choice over time.”
Is there one suggestion about momentum that you can offer to others?
“One way to keep momentum with your project is to leave something unfinished with your project each day so you have a thread to pick up on the next day”.
What did you notice after you completed your 100 day project?
“Both relief and excitement. Glad the 100 days was over as I was missing my regular studio work. Excitement because something wonderful was starting to happen with the clay pieces I was making towards the end of the 100 days. The clay work up until then felt more like a warm up to me. But that’s what practice is about, right?”
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
“This was my third 100 day project. What’s different with this project is how much more access I have to the creative part of my brain. Ideas are flowing, connections being made with ease, like a fountain. I am surprised and delighted! For me, this further affirms the power of the 100 day project as a structure to support a practice of creativity.”