The Bible mentions the seven native species of fruits and grains that the Jews would find in the land of Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. For me, the seven species symbolize not only sustenance, but also abundance and nurturance from God.
Creating the Seven Species in clay engenders a feeling of connection to the earth and nature. I love the act of rendering the fruits of the earth from the very substance of the earth.
After creating the design in clay, I make a mold which I then cast in plaster of Paris to replicate my original. I either leave these white which suggests the simple plaster look of antiquity, or I create a weathered bronze patina to suggest the look of the cast bronze era.