Identity Cleavage

Identity Cleavage is a body of work exploring the roles and expectations placed on women. Since the 1950s, a woman dressed up as a rabbit has been an iconic image of sensual desire. But what happens when a rabbit dresses up as a woman? Conflicting pressures on feminine identity is nothing new. Women found themselves in jobs during world war II, proving themselves competent in so many ways. But by the 1950s, magazines and an entire advertising industry was telling them they should be completely happy and fulfilled to be a mother and housewife. Advertisements for appliances, cosmetics and clothing showed gleeful, “wholesome” women appearing completely fulfilled to serve others in the home while other ads glorifying the sexy image of the Playboy Bunny. What were the real women of this era really thinking? What about women who choose not to have children? Are they any less feminine? My hope is that the Identity Cleavage series provokes some interesting dialogue surrounding the roles women choose to accept and the price they may have to pay for those choices.  

Elaine: She hoped to shed some light on her identity cleavage, but the kids always needed something else
Size: 23x11x11"
Price: $1,200
Material: High fire outdoor clay with stains

Other Work by Deb McCunn

Available at:

The Walking Man Gallery
305 Baker Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937

Touch, See, Smell

These three ladies were inspired by an Electrolux ad from the 1950s telling women to touch no dirt, smell no dirt and see no dirt! In this modern interpretation, we have Tiffany, who will touch no dirt while she tips her tipple. Her friend, Judith, will smell no dirt as long as she has her smokes and coffee. And Louise will see no dirt while she’s reading her favorite novel. They are happiest out in the garden surrounded by beautiful dirt.

Tiffany, Touch no Dirt, 36.5x11.5x12” - $1,800 as individual piece
Judith, Smell no Dirt, 38x12x13” - $1,800 as individual piece
Louise, See no Dirt, 31.5x12x15” - $1,800 as individual piece

Touch, Smell, See Set - $4,500 for 4 piece set


Jill: molded by fashion magazines
Size: 32”x12”x12”

Price: $1,500
 Materials: Outdoor clay and metal washes

Deb McCunn

Artist and Owner, Baker Creek Ceramics

Jessica: She elevated others
Size: 34x12x12"

Price: $1,800
Materials: Outdoor clay and metal washes

This piece was inspired by two photos from the Whatcom Museum photo archives. The first image is young Jessica Vachon early in her career as an elevator operator. The second photo is at the end of her 37 year career, moving people up and down the Federal Building in Bellingham. She looks poised, confident and competent.  The photos made me wonder what other things Jessica could have accomplished if more opportunities had been open to women at the time. This piece is a tribute to Jessica and her confidence. You can see in the photos how time changed her body, and most likely changed how she was perceived by others. But you can still see her inner confidence and competence. 

Jacqueline: following fashion advice until it hurts

Size: 34”x12”x16”
Prince: $1,800
Materials: Outdoor clay and metal washes

Available at

Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Scultpure Park

2345 Blanche Way

Camano Island, WA 98282

Joan: let’s stir things up
Size: 34”x12”x12”

Price: $1,800
Materials: Outdoor clay and metal washes

Deb McCunn is a ceramic artist and instructor. Deb opened Baker Creek Ceramics in 2009 as her private studio and as a place where ceramic artists could nurture their creativity. Deb sculpts in her 1,000 square foot studio in the loft. The lower 1,500 square feet are used for ceramic classes and shared by resident artists who rent space to use the studio when classes aren't in session. 

Artist’s Statement
Curiosity gives us vitality, allowing us to stretch and grow. Sculpting in clay is my vehicle for challenging assumptions. The richness and versatility of the medium allow me to carve subtle details throughout my work, layering meaning, stories and thought provoking questions. My characters come to life as I sculpt, allowing me to have dialogues with women spanning various generations and cultures. 

Available at:

Good Earth Pottery

1000 Harris Avenue

Fairhaven, WA  98225

Beverly: Some day she thought those pearls would strangle her. Stealing her husband’s cigars was the only thing that  seemed to help.
Size: 25x10x12.5”
Price: $1,300 SOLD
Material: High fire outdoor clay with stains

Margret Ignores Fashion Tips and Learns to Make Mead
Size 32”x12”x12”
Price: $1,500

Akio Outdoor Clay and Metal Washes

Anastasia follows fashion advice
Size 34”x12”x12”

Price: $1,800
Akio Outdoor Clay and Metal Wash

Janet: dealing with unwanted hare

Size: 32”x12”x12”
Price: $1,500

Materials: Outdoor clay and metal washes

Denise: Her new corset promised to lift and mold to please her man. Her new gel promised to tame her wild hare. But she just couldn’t give up those hiking boots.
Size: 23x9.5x11”
Price: $1,200
Material: High fire outdoor clay with stains