My work is rooted in the rich vocabulary of historical ceramics. While the timelessness of Eastern ceramics and the elegance of Islamic ceramics inspire and awe me, it is the celebratory nature of European wares that fires my imagination. While my art does not attempt to align itself with any particular imagery, process or form, it hopefully reflects an underlying meaning manifested in European decorative art, and perhaps decorative art belonging to all cultures.
Webster defines “decorate” as “to add honor to.” All art allows for a capacity to explore the mystery of existence. Decorative art reaffirms a belief that this mystery, this existence, deserves to be celebrated. For me clay is one material that lends itself so easily and so powerfully to expressing emotions, ideas, questions and spirit.
Although I work primarily with white earthenware and over 50 different C/04 glazes, I have also experimented with wood-firing, salt and soda firing, midrange temperatures, and porcelain. Sometimes my work stays centered on the wheel; other times slabs and pinching are combined to make the form. Both vessels and sculptural work offer their own challenges but both have the potential for interesting results.
Recently I have been using text in my work. Over the past few years, I have taken to jotting down lines from favorite poems on scraps of paper, not knowing what I would do with them but finding the words compelling enough to want to hold on to.
Two years ago I began a series of pieces which interweaved the collected short segments of poems with the way I was previously building bowls and platters. The metaphor of using bowls and platters was important. Bowls and platters serve as vessels to hold something. In these pieces, the vessels hold the expanded awareness and amazement that occurred for me when I first encountered that poem wherein the given line resided. In making these pieces, I am hoping to share an “ah-ha” moment where I was able to see more clearly or breath more deeply.