12” x 10 ½” x 12 ½”
Limited Edition of 9 • Bronze

Let Curt tell you about this piece!

The California mission era is one of the most interesting periods in American history. As I read more about the events that took place during this time, the more amazed I become by all that was accomplished by these brave people from far away then known as New Spain. Starting in 1775-6, De Anza led an expedition from Mexico to Arizona and then over to California. With him were Franciscan friars who would travel to California and begin setting up the California mission system. These missions, about a days ride apart, were established to spread Christianity to the new world. Each mission had to be self sustaining and they raised their own livestock and grew their own vegetables, fruits and grains. As a part of the every day life of the mission, the baking of bread was a vital part of the work. There were many mouths to feed and the friars invented the bee hive oven to perform this task.

This is at the heart of the inspiration for this piece. This friar is just putting a loaf of bread in the oven, while others sit cooling on a shelf at the base of the oven. l have pictured just the opening to the oven and the basic shape. I love working with negative space to intimate the oven. This space must be just the right size to have the piece remain balanced. The friar has a pleasant look on his face, he obviously enjoyed his work and the bread he is making! This must have been hot work for parts of the year and the wool frock he wears must surely have been hot, but that’s OK! It’s all a part of providing what he and the people would need at the mission. It is a material representation of the true “Bread Of Life”!