STATEMENT/BIO

I grew up in Kansas but have lived most of my adult life in Texas often spending long periods of time visiting my family in Louisiana and Mississippi.

I am amazed to find I have been making clay art for over forty years.  The first half of that time I fired to low temperatures in an electric kiln.  For the last twenty years I have been firing my works in a wood kiln in the Texas hill country transporting my pottery ninety miles from my home in Austin.

Using slab and coil construction, I hand build with stoneware and porcelain clay bodies.  I have always been influenced by the natural world and these last few years animal and bird imagery has been a focus.  Sometimes in my studio I look up from my work table and see many eyes looking at me from the shelves; ceramic owls, birds, rabbits, mice, even the occasional Chupacabra. They make me laugh and laughter is good medicine.

 

I use very little glaze, mostly to line interiors and let the flames and ash of burning wood give me serendipitous patterns and colors on the exterior of the piece.  I like the firing results being random although there are disappointments, of course.  I fire with a group of about 10 people and we take turns working to share the 20 hour firing and the wood preparation that goes into that beforehand.

Growing older, I now think of a load of pottery in a flame filled kiln as a metaphor for life.  The process often seems uncontrollable, transformational, full of beauty, effort, surprises good and bad and, finally, not always the results I had hoped for but must live with.

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