Clay Clown by Roxanne Swentzell Celebrates New Era

I’ve been to visit Bill and Athena Steen (see below) three times at their strawbale building compound (at the end of a dirt road in the southern Arizona desert). I love going there. The Steens are kindred spirits; hospitality and good vibes abound. The first time I went there I saw this incredible clay sculpture of a woman (maybe 18″ high) perched on a low wall. It was startlingly alive. It was done by Athena’s sister, Roxanne Swentzell, and you can see more of these remarkable sculptures at: When Bill and I exchange emails we often include a photo or two. He sent me this last week, saying it was a “…whimsical pueblo clown done by Athena’s sister Roxanne in celebration of the new era.”

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

One Response to Clay Clown by Roxanne Swentzell Celebrates New Era

  1. Hi, I first saw some of Roxanne's early clowns in an exhibit in the lobby of the Phenix Museum when she was about 17 yeas old, I think it was in the mid '80s. Several years later while walking down park avenue in Manhattan, at the back of a framing shop my eye caught some of the unforgettable clowns. I met her at the opening and bought one of her pieces that to this day is mesmerizing. She was so shy and over whelmed that she left for Santa Clara the next morning. When we were in the area a few years later wemade an appointment to meet her but again she protected her privacy and wasn't available when we got to her home. what she's up to and where she's exhibiting in the future.
    Until today, the only pieces we've seen of hers was at the American Museum for Women in the Arts in DC. Can we get on her email list? Joel & Crol Bronz, Farifield CT

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