Creation Date



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ceramic and Raku


Dimensions: 10 x 2.5 x 2 inches

This work is a part of a series entitled Copper-Colored Quiet.

Artist Statement

Overall, my work is a personal documentation of processing my emotions. I live with depression, and creating helps me develop a better understanding of myself, and how these emotions truly make me feel. Channeling my emotions into what I make is the only way I can even stand it sometimes. Depression deprives me of feeling anything other than a sense of perpetual sadness, never quite knowing the source of it.

My hope is to evoke an emotion from my audience, and for them to feel some of what I might have felt when creating the pieces. I’ve always been inspired by the human form, and encompass my work through a figurative style. There are five works total, a trio, a torso, and a dual figure piece. All of my works in this show are representations of what I might feel when depression rears its ugly head. While each of them can be viewed separately, when viewed together they become an emotional portrait of myself.

Diseased is a skeletal piece, on how depression is like mourning the death of someone you once loved - yourself. When you look in the mirror, you only see dead eyes. Being afraid that if anyone gets close to you, that you could somehow infect them too. If I’m the Devil, You’re the Reason is a direct comment on the end of a long-term relationship. I felt very demonized by the end of it, and as if my feelings were beyond even my own understanding. A Touch of Death is the conclusion of the three, and shows my acceptance of who I had become through an especially difficult depressive slump, and being dumped. I had felt damaged, unwanted, numb, shamed, and embarrassed. I finally learned to just accept it, and I learned to love myself for who I am.

Depression can fester, and grow inside of you and sometimes it’s like trying to breathe when you’re covered in tar. Abscessed is a manifestation of what I feel on the inside. Sometimes, it feels like it’s going to burst, and ooze out. I want to be okay with that, and let the take-over happen. To be okay with the disease in me.

The Impending Embrace is the conclusion, and it’s the final acceptance. Depression comes and goes, there are good days and there are bad days, and I’m learning to live with that. You can’t have one without the other, light and dark go hand-in-hand. While night always comes after dusk, dawn is right around the corner.


© Shayla Putnam, 2017.

Exhibit Images

Series Title: Copper-Colored Quiet


raku, ceramics, figures, sculpture, skeleton, bones