I came to ceramics later in life when I retired from a long public health career and moved from the Northeast to the Southwest. After attending art schools in Pennsylvania and Vermont, I worked intermittently in painting, drawing and photography for three decades.
Frustrated by the wheel when I was younger, I tried making pottery a few times and stopped. Some time at Goddard College, and a focus on hand-building and wood-fired pots, planted a seed that germinated many years later.
My current work is hand-built in a variety of clays (dark-brown, red and white stoneware and porcelain), and many pieces are an extension of the two-dimensional work I did years ago. The black, gray and white saggar-fired pieces are the three dimensional descendants of charcoal drawings I did in the 1970s.
I use a somewhat limited palette of matte glazes, raku and saggar finishes as well as Japanese shinos in high reduction. The landscape in the Northeast and Southwest are primary themes, and I find the music I listen to in the studio a powerful inspiration for particular pieces. I love the green of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, the red, gray and black mesas and night skies of New Mexico, pots that croon and sway and shapes that mimic desert and ocean forms.
I enjoy making vessels of all shapes and sizes but gravitate towards tea bowls, vases, tall forms and smaller sculptures one can hold in one’s hand. Narratives from history are common themes in the larger sculptural vessels. Current works-in-progress involve larger saggar-fired sculptures comprised of multiple components arranged in pairs and grids. These pieces reference topographical landscapes, crop circles and bodies of water.
Ancient forms like Tibetan prayer wheels, Christian relics, old beads, Native American baskets and pottery and bone and stone talismans are among my favorite objects. Some of my pieces seem to come alive when they’re used to hold tulips, feathers, dried flowers and leaves or wood from the desert.