Friday, December 30, 2011


            I have always been interested in animals of all sorts, including mythical and fantastical beasts. When I was little, I thought a griffon would be a really awesome pet. (Never mind that it would terrorize the horses and eat my dog; I could train it somehow to not do that, right?) But dragons have always been the most compelling to me.
            Dragons are not the sort of creatures that would make good pets. They are unpredictable, and tend to set things on fire when they are unhappy. Dragons also tend to be intelligent enough or powerful enough, or both, that they will not stand to be treated as less than an equal. In fact, they usually prefer to be in charge.
            Dragons are epic creatures. They do not do things by halves – if they are angry, they destroy everything they can until they are tired; if they are tired, they sleep for a hundred years; if they are bent on gathering pearls, they will pursue them to the ends of the earth and beyond. They live alone, for fear of some other creature stealing their treasure, but when they have company they cannot resist talking for a while, even if they mean to kill the visitor anyway.
            A dragon’s physical qualities are so vague that dragons can come in all shapes and sizes. There are dragons with friendly temperaments and dragons that are always angry at something.
            These are creatures that are good for stories. They can be hidden away in caves until they are discovered at a critical moment, or they can be fully part of the world and take part in the entire story line. They are a powerful force to reckon with, and are never tame enough that you can assume they will behave a particular way.
            The possibilities are endless, and I like to imagine what sort of stories different dragons might be part of. I like that they are not clearly defined. When I see an image of a dragon, I can imagine him or her to be any kind of dragon with any kind of story.
            When I am making a dragon, or putting a dragon on a pot, I think about what the dragon is doing. I think about whether it is angry or curious or thoughtful. I wonder what other creatures this dragon encounters in its world.
            I hope that others who spend time with my work also wonder these things. Imagination is all we have to make dragons truly come alive.  

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