I have a background in fine arts in painting and drawing, but began working in clay in 1995. Immediately I knew that I had found my medium because of the plasticity and potential of clay to take on almost any shape and texture. Working in three dimensions has added a complexity to my artwork that I enjoy. Instead of a flat surface that has a beginning and end, I now have 360 degrees to tell my story in and it flows naturally around the piece.
Many forms begin on the potter’s wheel. Once thrown, they can be altered or added to. At the leather hard stage the clay is perfect for leaving impressions. Working freehand, I will sketch in an image, then begin to carve the clay.
Outlining the image, taking areas of clay away to create shadows and deep lines, then putting in a background texture that will bring movement to my images are the moments I like best. The work and the clay are very fresh at this stage and this is the most enjoyable time for me. When the last firing reveals how the multi-layered glazes have pooled and run in the textured areas and what magic has happened in the transformation of the clay are the final pleasures of working in this medium.
My inspiration comes from Eastern and Asian paintings, calligraphy, and pottery. The natural forms of branches and leaves, as well as water and fish are images I use on my pottery. Clay is such a tactile medium and my goal is to make work that people will enjoy touching as well as contemplating and using. I want to make it really difficult for them to resist tracing the veins of a leaf or the scales of a fish with their fingers. I want to communicate the pleasure I experience in creating these works to others through the use of line and color and touch.
I am trying to make work that speaks to people with it’s beauty and it’s craftmanship. I love to talk about the techniques used and my inspiration when people want to know how a piece is made, but I expect that a work should resonate aesthetically all on its’ own and that is what I am aiming for.