Artist StatementFor me ceramics is a way of creative expression that has no limit. As the substance of the very earth itself, clay has and will continue to be a primary material with which we humans can make things ranging from small talismen and table ware, to fine art, and even the homes we live in. It is the ancient, primordial medium that has now in digital age just as much importance as it ever has. I look forward to continuing to work with this plastic medium, and seek to keep abreast of the accelerating changes that technology brings while remaining grounded in my studio practice.
I began working in clay in 10th grade at a little high school in Iowa called Scattergood Friends School. The crafts revival in the US was a recent memory at that time, and the school had facilities for salt firing, glass blowing, welding and fiber arts. The widely known potter Warren McKenzie had even done a workshop there and it was inspiring to feel the legacy of hand crafts in the studios and see high quality work around the school. I have making ceramics while broadening into various other media including photography, watercolor, figurative sculpture, drumming, and other performing arts. My formal education includes an AA in Liberal Arts from Montgomery College, a BA in Biology from Earlham College, and an MS in Environmental Biology from Hood College. I went twice to Japan to work in clay, completing a summer cultural exchange in Tokoname followed a year and a half later by a 4 month studio residency in Shigaraki, both of which are ancient ceramic production centers in Japan with distinct cultural importance. Lastly, I have taught or been visiting/resident artist at Hood, Juniata, McDaniels and Key West Community Colleges, and at various schools and camps, and public parks. One of the remaining goals I hope to complete as an artist is one or more large scale mosaic installations of my biodiversity tiles in a public and/or educational institution to help people better understand the importance of preserving earths diverse natural heritage.
My studio and teaching experience has many important threads thru over three decades of working in clay: Drum making, slipware and biodiversity. Major influences include the Hamada - Leach folk craft tradition, pattern and texture on three dimensional surfaces, and biological diversity. Drum making has added great enrichment to life and helped span cultural differences such as language, music and dance. There are so many ways we can experience the wealth of human experience and cultural richness, and sharing them with others thru teaching and studio work is the fulfillment of that potential full circle.