Deborah Batson Artist Statement
My youngest son was 9 when he became critically ill, spending several years of his life in and out of Children’s Hospital Colorado in treatment for a rare cancer. Against tough odds, he recovered and grew to be a caring, thoughtful, funny young adult. During his second year at university he developed another rare cancer.
During my son’s later illness, and while he was under hospice care at home, I discovered the ultimate grief therapy: making things. I set up a table in my garage, away from the house and its commotion, and started experimenting with various materials. When he died, he was cremated according to his wishes, and I made an urn for his ashes.
Others requested such urns for their family members, and for cherished pets. Each new piece taught me new ways to work with wood, stone, glass, and color. And with each vessel I made for someone else, I learned to live a little more with the loss of my precious boy.
Listening to other families’ stories about their loved ones and retelling those stories as art is a profound privilege and I am grateful to those who entrust them to me.
Besides urns, I have made vessels as keepsakes for notes of remembrance, vessels for collections of a loved one’s things, and reliquaries for the containment of small amounts of ash for personal keepsake.