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OJAI : Artist Wood, 101, to Leave Hospital Soon

July 27, 1994|KAY SAILLANT

Renowned ceramist Beatrice Wood is recovering from surgery at a Los Angeles hospital and is expected to return to her Ojai retreat sometime this week, her manager said Tuesday.

Wood, 101, entered the hospital three weeks ago when she contracted bronchitis, which deteriorated into pneumonia, said Ram Singh, Wood's manager and personal assistant for the past two decades.

Once her pneumonia had improved, doctors discovered a bleeding ulcer and kept her in the hospital for surgery, Singh said. He requested that the name of the hospital be kept private so that the famed artist can rest with no disruptions.

She is expected to return to her Ojai studio this week, probably by Friday, Singh said. Wood will continue her recovery there for about a month before returning to work, he said.

"She is doing quite well," Singh said. "She's a tough lady. The doctors couldn't believe she's 101 years old."

Wood's clay pieces have been acclaimed in the international art world for their whimsy and craft. Her ceramics are displayed in the permanent collections of 12 major U.S. museums, including the Smithsonian and New York's Metropolitan Museum, as well as at museums around the globe.

Her pieces range from lusterware goblets and fiery glazed dishes to funny, folk-artsy figures. One piece called "Modern Woman," created in 1991, depicts a female hoisting a male over her head. She also has created miniature bordellos out of clay.

Before she fell ill, Wood was creating up to a dozen new pieces each month, Singh said. She can't wait to get back to her studio and start creating more, he said.

"She keeps telling the doctors: 'Let me go home. I have so many ideas in my head that I need to turn into clay and stone,' " Singh said.

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