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"Ceramics is personal to me." (Video interview, 5:55)

   Judas E. Recendez
Collection image
Judas Recendez in his pottery studio, Fredericksburg, Virginia [2015]
War: Afghan War, 2001-; Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army; Army
Unit: 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division
Service Location: Washington, DC; Germany; also: Iraq
Rank: Sergeant
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A California native, Judas Recendez grew up in a military family, and enlisted in the Army in 2002. Severely injured during his second deployment to Iraq in 2006, he lost both his legs below the knee when his vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). During a year-long rehabilitation period at Walter Reed Medical Center, he started visiting the hospital’s art center, and rediscovered his love of art, particularly ceramics. Following his recovery, he attended the Corcoran School of Arts and Design, and in his current role as a practicing ceramic artist, uses a pottery wheel adapted with a hand pump.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (61 min.)
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»Veterans and the Arts
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Transition from military to civilian life; taking art classes; moving back to DC; applying to art school at the Corcoran. (01:35) Visceral reaction to clay and ceramics; love of the experience and process of molding clay. (01:01) Details of his two deployments; family military history; decision to become an infantryman. (01:41)
Adapting his workshop and ceramics wheel to accommodate his prostheses; using a hand controlled wheel; challenges in controlling speed of clay. (01:56)  

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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