Pottery with a splash!
Currently, I'm developing a new body of work inspired by my love of cooking and enjoying Asian Noodle Soups–Chinese Wonton Noodle Soup, Japanese Udon, Ramen, Vietnamese Pho and other Asian-inspired dishes. My bowls have been designed to uniquely enhance the contents within.
I have been passionate about doing pottery ever since college, when I first discovered the magical transformation that clay can make. The moment I first centered a ball of clay on a potter's wheel, I imagined myself as the earliest human who fashioned something useful and beautiful from clay spinning on a wheel. I continue to be drawn to ancient techniques and am enamored by Asian artist's forms and glaze contrasts.
My addiction to pottery began when I took a break from college in Brooklyn, NY, to “escape” to Eugene, Oregon to attend summer school classes at the University of Oregon. I was almost closed out of the very popular ceramics class I'd hoped to take, but luck kicked in and there was a space for me. The professor of this intensive 5 mornings/week course covered all aspects of pottery making – from preparing clay to wheel throwing and hand building, from trimming and glaze creation to glaze application and firing the kiln. I had two exceptional memories of this introduction to pottery that come to me clearly even after these many years.
One was the feeling I had the first time I realized I had centered a piece of clay. I sat for at least 5 full minutes feeling the clay STAY PUT against the pressure of my hands while the wheel was spinning! I still enjoy that feeling and have to remind myself sometimes to move along. My second image stems from my excursion into central Oregon, where I scooped up some loose pieces of lava rock, long ago deposited in what remains of the long-dormant volcano. When I took the rocks back to the pottery studio, I was instructed to just grind them up, add water, apply it to pots that were ready to be glazed, and see what I'd get. Well, once applied, the water quickly evaporated and it looked like I had sprinkled garden soil on my pots! But when removed from the kiln, I saw that the iron in the rock had produced a beautiful rust-brown metallic sheen on the finished pieces. I feel very fortunate to have had such a great start and have not lost my interest in just about every aspect of making pottery today.
Although I never had my own equipment or studio, I continue to find good places to do pottery on a regular basis. I’ve also taught adult pottery classes and find time to take intensive workshops to broaden my experiences with clay. Workshops have included multiple Raku workshops with Rosemary Aiello and Brett Thomas’ Mobile Raku, a wonderful week-long Shino glaze workshop with Malcolm Davis, and a multi-day workshop with Mark Shapiro at Greenwich House Pottery in NYC.
“Pottery with a splash” refers to the primary way I like to glaze my pieces. I enjoy making pieces that look good together, but are unique, given that the “splashes of color” are always different! I prefer working with porcelain and mostly produce functional wheel-thrown pieces. It gives me great pleasure to know that other people appreciate and enjoy what I was able to create.
These days, you’ll find me at the Clay Art Center communal artist studio in Port Chester, NY as often as I can manage when not at my full-time Resource Room teacher day job. My prior studio work includes: