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"When I met clay during my studies at the Beaux Arts, I had never imagined that it would take up so much importance in my life. It imposed itself immediately, without asking my opinion, and I was forced to realise that it was an extension of myself, because when I tried to forget it, nothing made sense. And yet, as it is difficult, recalcitrant, authoritarian, it is the one who decides, it never obeys me, it always has the last word and if I manage to control it, it's the fire that comes into play, and then I can't control anything anymore. Fortunately, in the forty years we've been living together, we've tamed each other. But each land wants to speak in its own way with a different script. This white sandstone that I've been using recently seems to be accommodating. We have invented a language together. All these humans and animals that live in me are quite happy to speak under my fingers. Often surprised, sometimes delighted, they are mischievous owls, rhinoceroses in love, triumphant elephants, lustful frogs, generous women, thoughtful men. They have lived, they are determined and they keep their fragility to themselves. These animals who write my diary in the ground give me a distance. They are not afraid to show themselves. People recognise themselves, at least those who are not afraid to welcome these clay beings into their homes. From time to time, one has the impression of grasping something, but it doesn't last. Working with clay is a school of humility. Every morning, you have to go back to the workbench and forget everything, so that you can always be surprised. That's how it is, the work is never finished, it would take several lifetimes to go round it. I don't know what I'm looking for through the clay, immortality perhaps..." Monique Dégluaire Translated with (free version)

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