James "Son Ford" Thomas

Son Thomas (1926-1994) was a sharecropper and then a gravedigger before becoming known both as a musician in the Delta blues tradition and a maker of extraordinary unfired clay sculptures.  As a child, he learned to make simple clay figures of animals, a pastime he continued as an adult with the making of skulls (sometimes with real human teeth) and animals.  Thomas used what he called black gumbo clay that he air-dried in direct sunlight.

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