My early training as a sculptor in stone and cast bronze, before I was ever introduced to clay, continues to shape my work in ceramics. My graduate studies in clay strongly influenced me to create objects with which people will interact intimately and on a regular basis. As a result, I focus on making clay vessels that are part of individuals’ life activities yet serve as a strong sculptural element in their homes and work environments.
My inspiration is heavily drawn from the forms and textures in nature, although I do not try to replicate these. Over the past several years I have been creating work that evokes the forces of wind and water as they sculpt our planet. In the most recent past, I have been exploring use of negative space resulting from these same forces. I incorporate the subtle colors, textures, and shapes created by these processes of change into my pieces. This combination often imparts both an elegant and primal feel to my work. Weathering and erosion demonstrate that even things that seem everlasting evolve and change into new and different forms. Clay itself is a product of these forces. The resulting changes are ongoing and inevitable as well as upsetting, and beautiful simultaneously. I work in high-fire Grolleg porcelain and fell in love with this pure white clay the instant I touched it. I create my work from soft slabs and coils of clay—which results in forms that are closest to the look and feel of clay in its natural state. Porcelain’s fine grain is sensual to the hand and very receptive to subtleties in texture. It is satiny when left unglazed and polished; its whiteness enables glazes to show rich colors and depth. Porcelain has a reputation for being difficult to work with and prone to cracking. My trick is to cajole it into submission and then patiently dry it—very slowly. The question that continually invigorates and propels me is, “What if…?”