Incantation Bowls Reimagined, an art and poetry
collaboration with poet LouAnn Muhm. LouAnn wrote
the poetry. I am creating the illustrated and inscribed
bowls. Exhibition possibilities are becoming more of a
reality, really moving this project forward.
Now I am working on adding LouAnn's words from her
incantation poems onto the surface of more bowls. Uniting
the words and illustrations onto the sewing pattern paper
surfaces proves to be a powerful and long-anticipated
process--a coming together of three art forms to create
one. Ideas are brewing about how they will be displayed
and how they will interact with the viewers.
Below is the series of smaller bowls, each containing a
line to Litany, an incantation poem by LouAnn Muhm.
As far as we know, the ancient incantation bowls were
only really viewed by the maker(s) and the family before
they were buried under the threshold (and sometimes
windows) outside of the family home.
About ancient incantation bowls:
In 2010, I was educated about the large numbers of ancient
Babylonian incantation bowls, 6th-8th Century CE, that have
been unearthed in Iraq since the 1990s. Although there are some
variations, most ancient incantation bowls are shallow bisqueware
forms with a simplified character painted in the center and an
incantation against a particular fear inscribed starting along the rim
and spiraling toward the illustration. Each bowl and its incantation
was created for a specific family’s plea for assurances against fears
and was buried upside down, under the threshold of the family’s