Blanche Jelly

blanche jellyBlanche Jelly was my paternal great grandmother. She was gentle, sweet-natured, motherly, silver-haired and generous with ice-cream.  She kept her home scrupulously neat and clean and it smelt of good cooking, but I never met her. To me, she is from the nearest distant past; I have no memories of her as I do my own grandmother. She is just out of reach - one generation beyond. The flavor of that kind of missing is potent; the strangeness of moments and people - familiar but unavailable. This work is a meditation on that out-of-graspness; the slightly strange, quiet, solitary presence of forms and light found in the space of memory.


My work is made of plaster and gypsum, sometimes brass or bronze. Pieces are cast and carved slowly by hand, making each slightly different from the next. The work is labor-intensive and driven by experimentation; though I received an MFA from Parsons School of Design, the methods I now use are self-taught and refined over the past ten years. I do not draw but shape forms until they appear complete.


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