Inside a display case at the entrance of the Dublin Library sit more than 150 small clay figurines. Each statuette was meticulously sculpted by Jessika Freshcorn, a 15-year-old Marysville girl who has autism.

Inside a display case at the entrance of the Dublin Library sit more than 150 small clay figurines. Each statuette was meticulously sculpted by Jessika Freshcorn, a 15-year-old Marysville girl who has autism.

The art display at the library, 75 N. High St., coincides with Autism Awareness Month.

"It's such a broad spectrum of what she creates," said her father, Jeff Freshcorn. "Like the field mouse on display. It has the most incredible detail, things that we would never notice.

"And when she creates things, she hardly looks at them," he said. "She watches TV and just molds the clay in her hands."

Autism is a developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. There is no known cause of autism, which affects one in every 150 American children, according to the Autism Society of America.

Freshcorn and his wife, Teresa, purchased clay one day for Jessika when she was 5 years old.

"As parents of an autistic child you're constantly trying to find things for them," Jeff Freshcorn said. "It was by chance that we picked up clay."

The sensory sensation of the clay allows Jessika and other autistic children to remain calm and gives them balance, her father said.

"We spend a small fortune in clay," he said. "But it's well worth it because she's happy."

The figurines, which range in size from a few centimeters to several inches tall, are intricately detailed. Some look like porcelain statuettes.

While Jessika isn't able to communicate complex thoughts, she made it clear that Bambi was her favorite creation on display.

Other items on display include a dog running with a sausage in its mouth and a group of dogs sleeping together. There are deer and rabbits, too.

"We've had a lot of interest and people stopping and looking," said Michael Blackwell, manager of the Dublin Library. "Especially the young people are fascinated by the animals.

"A number of people have called or asked where they can get more information about Jessika and some have even wanted to know if the pieces were for sale," Blackwell said.

Selling the work was never the intention.

"We just want to raise awareness," Jeff Freshcorn said. "Something has to be done for these kids. They are going to be adults and our future."

The figurines that Jessika creates are all animals, her favorite subject.

"It's great going to the zoo with her," her father said, "because all the animals come to her. Animals don't put the pressures on you that people do. They don't ask questions."

This is Jessika's third exhibit showing her work. Her first exhibit was at the Marysville Public Library.

"She got a kick out of it," her father said. "And here too. Every day she's got to come and see it."

Jessika's work will be on display at the Dublin Library through the end of the month.

For more information about Jessika, contact the Freshcorns at tfreshcorn@yahoo.com.

bdunlap@thisweeknews.com