Jeffrey Zigulis began his Dream Mask series as presents for schoolmates of his young son, Matthew. He told the children that the masks could help scare away bad dreams. One little boy was careful to see that his baby brother had his mask nearby whenever he was sleeping.
Something about the masks, that were inspired by African, Mexican, and Micronesian masks resonates for most people who see them. With each group he makes, the series changes, some groups are whimsical, others are dramatic and powerful.
Each clay mask is scarped, carved and burnished before it is fired and painted with acrylics and accented with colored electrical wire hair. The color combinations used are influenced by Joseph Albers’ Color Theories. The evolution of the colors Zigulis uses are inspired by snorkeling trips to Molokai and Maui, and an interest in the colors and patterns found on the wings of butterflies and moths.
Known for his Dancing Man series, black Raku vases with bamboo, pyramid series and doll series, Zigulis also explored large scale assemblage, and is always collecting found objects for his need to experiment in that medium. Zigulis characteristically moved traditional forms and methods in new directions to produce styles that are uniquely his own.
Growing up in Mountain View, California in the 60’s and 70’s, he graduated from San Jose State University in 1979 and went on to teach at Foothill and Ohlone Colleges, along with lecturing and leading workshops throughout the country. Zigulis and his wife Nancy have lived in Monteey County, Sonoma County and now have a home and studio on the south end of beautiful Camano Island in Washington.