Sketch 14 by Rosemary Griggs

The nurses at the Jacksonville Mayo Clinic were so caring, efficient and accommodating. They would try to give us a private room, an extra pillow and heated blankets so David Ray could rest beside me while I was getting my weekly treatments. We became friends and I still check in with them when I go for follow up visits. Some of the nurses were breast cancer survivors themselves. One nurse got diagnosed during my time there and we commiserated on mastectomies and reconstructive surgeries. When I finally completed my last chemo treatment they gave me a certificate with all their signatures and sweet notes of encouragement.


Author Note: A Stroll Down Mammary Lane is an illustrated journal chronicling eighteen months of our experience with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure. During the long convalescence, I spent most of my time horizontal healing from multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and other treatments. I was unable to work in my pottery studio and my career as a full time ceramic sculptor was put on hold while I focused on getting through one procedure at a time. I wasn’t able to do much but I did draw and it resulted in about 90 illustrations of my process of fighting breast cancer.

More Reading: Rosemary Griggs Clay Art

###
Rosemary Griggs

Rosemary Griggs

As a fourth generation southern artist living on Saint Simons Island, my daily work commute consists of walking out the back door, past the koi pond and bird feeders, through the garden and into a very special place - my slightly skewed studio. I’m joined by a host of eager, four-legged “studio assistants” ready to greet another day. A full time potter since 1997, I continue to stretch the clay to new extremes as my signature style of hand built ceramics evolves. With depictions of plants, animals, fish and human forms, often united in liberating ways, my art is rooted in and inspired by the natural world. Using several different hand building techniques, I create both sculptural and functional works that often combine incongruous themes within the same piece. My family’s creative influence has played a huge role in my life. Clay and dirt are as inbedded in my soul as in my fingernails. With family art decorating our home and gardens, my husband’s mandolin music ringing throughout the house and now our daughter in the process of making her artistic mark, I count myself very fortunate to come from a family whose creativity continues to roll from one generation to the next.