I take great pleasure in feeling clay in my hands. Pushing it, pulling it, stretching it, marking it, carving it and generally exploring its possibilities provides me with endless hours of enjoyment. Many of my pieces live first in my imagination before I create them, and I find my satisfaction when the final piece lives up to that first mental image.
I particularly like working with clay when it’s quite wet; perhaps it more directly connects me to the earth. I push it to the limits of its plasticity and strength — at times treating it like cloth, at other times like wet sand. Sometimes a piece is very thick, sometimes very thin, sometimes both. I generally work from slabs, though I enjoy pinching a pot from time to time.
I begin with shapes and textures, and then find ways to make them functional. My shapes are loose and fairly free form. I enjoy inlaying and adding clay in various ways to alter the texture and color of the slab, which I then transform by stretching, ripping and piecing, until, finally, I form it into a piece. Sometimes I abstractly carve and texture a slab, then later layer on oxides, underglazes and glazes.
Currently, I am visually exploring and interpreting the dichotomies I find in the world, giving form to my observations about life. Something can be rough and crude on the outside and still be smooth, deep and colorful on the inside — or vice versa. People, too, may embody disparate aspects in their personalities and lives. To capture those contradictions, I have been working with two very different clays. One is very dark and smooth and feels like working with cream cheese, and it fires to almost a true black. The other is white and heavily grogged. It is so “sandy” that I can almost smell the sea.
I hope that you will enjoy my pieces as much as I do.
MBA – 9/08