Fires of Change, Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff, September 5 – October 31, 2015. Wood fired, unglazed porcelain. The show traveled to the University of Arizona, Tucson, from November 2015 – April 2016 and to 516Arts Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from May – July, 2017.

I chose porcelain to create these helmets as a tribute to the 19 Granite Mountain hot shots who gave their lives in the deadliest wild fire in Arizona. On Sunday, June 20 2013 they died doing what they loved most. According to Superintendent Eric Marsh, who perished with them, fighting fires was the most fulfilling thing that any of them had ever done.

Porcelain symbolizes the fragility and preciousness of life and how it can be shattered in an instant. The helmets were fired in a wood kiln where the unglazed porcelain absorbed the marks and paths of the flames, and the wood ash was transformed into glazes. Because the fire was so hot some of the helmets were warped and damaged in the kiln. I found it appropriate to include these helmets in my installation.