Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Soul Mates

Way back in the summer of 2009, I created a piece, entitled Body Guard, that was inspired by a photo that I found on the Internet.  I was working on a series of sculptures of people and their companion animals. In the photo is a girl, Phoebe Zickefoose, holding the family’s much beloved dog, Chet Baker.  The photo was taken before then, since I think Phoebe was 11 at the time and is all grown up now. Chet continues to be the apple of everyone’s eye, and rightly so.


Phoebe holding Chet-The Picture

Phoebe and Chet

After receiving permission from Phoebe’s mom, Julie (an amazing artist, writer, naturalist, the list goes on), I sculpted the piece and posted about it.

The photo was for inspiration and I was not trying to create a likeness of anyone.  Funny thing, when my brother saw an image of the piece before glazing, he said, “That looks like you in high school!”  So I changed the colors, etc. and the piece doesn’t look at all like the young lady who started it all.

What struck me was the mutually protective stance of the girl and the dog, hence the name Body Guard.


Cndy's High School photo resized for blogBodyguard resized for blog

Me in high school                                            Body Guard

One of the many things I loved about the photo of Phoebe was her gorgeous hair and, for all of this time, I have wanted to create another sculpture based on this photo.  In the new piece, I gave the girl big hair to accentuate this beautiful accessory, and changed other things–filling out her face and altering the dog’s markings.  Not that Phoebe and Chet aren’t wonderful just as they are, but I was not trying to sculpt perfect likenesses of them.  I wanted to capture the essence of the photo, as it spoke to me.

Here are some images of the work in progress:

Kindred Spirits in kiln resized for blog

In the kiln, preparing for first firing.  In the background are test tiles for a future piece.


Kindred Spirits in progress side view resized for blog

First firing a success!


Kindred Spirits back movement by Cindy Biles resized for  blog

I love the gesture (and the big hair!), evident in this photo


Kindred spirits more layers of color resized for blog

More layers of underglaze applied and ready for second firing


Kindred Spirits by Cindy Biles art clay ceramic sculpture dog figurative

Soul Mates

photo by Jason Dowdle

I’ve never met the Zickefooses, hope to someday, but, from what I know in reading Julie’s blog and website, Kindred Spirits seems an apt name.