ALLEN K. LITTLEFIELD
Born on October 11, 1940 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,
the artist spent his childhood years in areas of the United States
as divergent as New York City, Pennsylvania, Florida, and the state
of Washington. Littlefield later returned to Wilkes-Barre where
he graduated in 1967 from Wilkes College with a BA in Art Education.
After four years of teaching art on both the elementary
and high school levels in the Kingston City School system of Kingston,
NY, Littlefield moved to New Paltz. There he pursued graduate studies
under ceramics instructors Kenneth Green and Robert Sedestrom at
the State University of New York. He was employed as a graduate
ceramics teaching assistant until 1973 when he received a Master
of Fine Arts degree.
Allen hand builds each piece individually out of
white stoneware clay. The work is then bisque-fired in an electric
kiln. The final step in firing involves an ancient technique called
pitfiring. This is done outdoors and involves wrapping or positioning
each piece with various materials including cardboard and newspaper.
After the pitfiring Allen washes each piece thoroughly and lets
it dry before applying other colors or attaching them to backgrounds.
Since the work is porous it is not recommended for outdoor use in
climates where temperatures dip near or below freezing.
As a general statement about his sculpture, Allen
Littlefield explains that current work is to be viewed as "future
artifacts", objects that foreshadow what may be found in museums
3,000 years from now. The sculpture and fragments might reveal some
of our alleged martyrs and saints or ritual and sacred objects.
All great civilizations are known by their gods
and human achievements. Our current reliance on hard and soft technology,
the "new gods", will in time crumble and be found also
to have "feet of clay".