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Touching Things for Luck


Last week I decided to take pictures of all my bronze sculptures, at least the ones I can get to easily. So one thing I did was go down to the park to photograph the first set of pieces I ever did (around 10 years ago), the life cycle of the Pacific Chorus frog.

Every once in awhile I go down to check on them, make sure they’re still attached to their moorings and that they’re not tagged with graffiti. I can tell that I’m not the only person to look after them, although I’ve never seen anyone at it. I can also tell that people feed them, little bits of wood chips and pebbles are around their mouths. I think that must be little kids, mostly.

One time I was there and three kind of marginal looking guys (it’s a very urban park, favored by homeless teens) walked by and one of them said to the others, as a tour guide might, “hey, that’s the life cycle of the frog.” I was touched. Somehow other people had started to own them.

So, when I was there this week, an older woman came down the stairs and patted them. She said to me, “these are great.” I thanked her and told her I was the one who made them. I always feel self conscious when I do that. I don’t think people quite believe me. Anyway, this woman told me that she always touches them for luck. How is it, I started to wonder, that something I made has become an icon? It wasn’t my intention, but objects have a life, and art objects must somehow become things that we all share. It’s a big thing, making images. I like it that I’m part of that.


  1. hey rachel— it would be nice to be able to “follow” your blog, and have it listed in my blog as one that I follow. If you follow mine, you can add your blog & website URL to it so other followers of my blog can surf over to yours. I kind of like it. I have 2 followers and I was so thrilled !

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  2. love the frog sculpture story. I want to touch them too — why didnt you take me to see them? I must see them

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  3. lyn dillin wrote:

    love the life cycle of the frog, those are some juicey tadpoles…pretty good when you can make a hard substance like bronze look viscous….and I love that you got to experience people having them as part of their lives…xxL

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  4. lyn dillin wrote:

    oh, and I like that the other stuff you did to your blog… time to wind down and try to get some solid sleep tonight. xxx

    Monday, May 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Permalink