Artist's Statement

The experience of working with clay for a living is a confounding one.  Unlike many jobs, it can give the satisfying feeling of going against machined mass-production, and the gratification of purposefully beginning, carrying through, and completing a project, from design to marketing.  And it also offers periodically inferior supplies, over/under-fired kilns, poor photos/documentation, work destroyed in shipping, galleries that suddenly fold, the fear of dried-up creative juices, the prospect of relative poverty.

But it also offers the intangible.  The intangible: of creating “something” out of “nothing”; of working at a chosen pace for interested people; of a connection (conscious or otherwise) with a past, a history so rich and varied -- and so essential and human; of bringing into the world an object that intentionally exists to affect other people, maybe calmly, maybe outrageously; and perhaps most significantly, of that rare but occasional moment when the pot (or sculpture or object or idea) works, when the total is greater than the sum of the parts, and something wonderful has happened.

Silhouette and form, with a quiet contained presence, always have been my major concerns.  My most current work reflects this ongoing fascination with form - looking for the perfect line, the perfect curve - plus an increased exploration of greater depth, subtlety and drama in the surface, with new directions in color, size and texture. Terra sigillata, and saggar firing and other low-temperature alternative firing methods (pit, horsehair), entering my ceramics life over the last fifteen years, have made a large impact on my work in both gesture and scale. I choose to not use glazes on the bulk of my work, appreciating the random, spontaneous markings from the kiln’s atmosphere. Paul Soldner’s atmospheric work was an early influence on mine.  And, while I often continue to use the vessel as my point of departure - enjoying that historical connection - wall work and more abstract forms invade my thinking more and more.

I have been changed significantly and irrevocably by making clay art.  My head, hands and heart work together, and after over fifty years, I am beginning to understand the complexities of my medium. Through some stroke of good fortune, I have found work that is satisfying, engaging, challenging, and comprehensive, and through which I find great satisfaction.

I often think I work with clay in order to slow down the world; and maybe to experience the sensual/tactile quality of the wet medium on my fingers; and maybe to better understand life’s dichotomies and paradoxes by studying clay’s dichotomies and paradoxes -- the microcosm of the studio and macrocosm of the world --; and maybe just because I have to.