In 2009, I did an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. The residency program hosts national and international artists and writers. During my two-week long residency, evenings were scheduled to provide resident artists the chance to share their work.
One evening, artist resident and writer Michael Colonnese shared his work and read some of his new poems. He had some books available and I bought one titled “Temporary Agency.” One of his poems, “The Lost Jar,” hit me. The poem is the story of a boy who dug a hole to hide a jar of coins. He thought that one day when he was grown up he might need this money. When he returned to the place as an adult, he wondered what had happened to the jar, which was now hidden beneath a driveway.
As a kid, I also buried objects in the ground and never retrieved them. When I read this poem, it transported me back to where I grew up. My mother used to make preserves of the fruits and vegetables from the garden. I remember she always used orange rubber jar rings to close the canning jars.
I created the series, Lost Jar, in response to the poem. I printed images of large jars, some filled with money, some with fire, some empty, some with no jar, none are filled with fruits or vegetables. On most of them, I added an orange line at the top of the jar to signify the orange rubber rings my mother used. Carborundum collagraph, drypoint, and chine-collé were the techniques I use to create this series.