BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Lindanne Phillips has always loved art. She’s also an innovator, an entrepreneur, and a retired teacher. But when her husband Mike wanted to learn pottery, something went wrong. Or did it? It actually turned into her signature series called Mini Mutts, “When your honey is trying to learn how to do pottery because you want him to be with you in your studio because it’s a lonely, lonely business by yourself, I cut this off accidentally. I thought, oh my God I’m in the doghouse. It was like eureka. I’m going to put a dog on that. And I love dogs and, of course, cutting that bowl and putting a dog on it just opened everything.”
You know what they say about life giving you lemons. You make lemonade and this mistake turned into a series called Mini Mutts.
Lindanne continues, “So, every time Mike made a boo-boo, I put a dog on it and then my little miniature Pincher passed away and I said I’m going to make a cremation urn for her, and I did. She’s sitting over with the dog in it on top of the shelves. People started seeing them and I started, and I started doing commissions and I do a lot of cremation pottery.”
When she isn’t putting pups on pots, she’s painting pooches, “I’ll paint dogs and then I’ll come and sculpture them. The attachment I have is lifelong. I mean I always had a dog and they always slept with me. When the accident happened with the little dog on the side of the pot the thoughts of childhood came to me because my grandfather had coon dogs and hunting dogs and rabbit dogs, which are beagles and I started hearing those little guys in my head, so I said I’m going to just start sculpting those.”
Lindanne’s work has found an audience at art shows everywhere, “Their eyes light up and they’re smiling and they’re reminiscing in my booth, and I’ll tell them you can touch them. They don’t bite.”
But they do speak, “And they can talk to you by the look on their face and the way they cuddle you. They can tell you what they want. I mean you just have to learn and listen to those little guys. They really talk to you. I come down here and relax and enjoy and talk to my clay and my clay turns out to be a sculpture. That’s what I want to do, and I’ll continue doing it until the day I die. I had a sweet friend that said, ‘You can’t sculpt anything without a dog.’ I said it’s not complete unless I have a dog on it!”
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