Monthly Archives: November 2015

Journey of the Kiln

In 1960 I was working in clay, and my mother-in-law gave me an amazing gift: $2000 to buy a large state-of-the-art gas kiln. My husband at the time asked me “Wouldn’t you rather have a mink coat?”, but I persevered with the kiln purchase. It was an incredible asset to my work. It made it possible to make huge clay sculptures I would not have been able to make otherwise, and to entirely fill the Pindar Gallery in NYC (2500 square feet!) with five solo shows over ten years.
I’ve long since moved on to work in metal, and sold the kiln recently to the art department of Ocean County College in Tom’s River, NJ. Professor Lisa K Cecere came with four of her students to load the kiln for transport. They were a joy: so animated and delighted to see so much large-scale work in clay. Later I was forwarded this email from Lisa:

“Please tell Phyllis that my students so enjoyed meeting her…as did I.
We had dinner on the road…and they were just enamored. It was lovely as they exchanged stories of the conversations each one had with Phyllis and they each came away with something different. But concluded the same thing….how wonderful it was to spend the afternoon there.
They story of our day will be talked about with my other students for quite sometime.”


November 25th, 2015|Current Post|



My great grandparents on my father’s side, Mary Gillis McSween and Hugh McSween. Mary was a full-blood Mi’kmaq Indian, from Nova Scotia, adopted by the Gillis family. She lived to be 107 years old, and eventually moved to Lynn, Massachusetts at the end of her life.



Mary Mac Donald McSween

November 25th, 2015|Current Post|