In 1998, I received a coupon for a set of art lessons at the DeCordova Museum. I took a chance on a pottery class, and immediately fell in love. From that day on, my passion for working with clay never wavered, even when my work shrank, sagged, slumped, separated, warped, cracked, dunted, scummed, bloated, blistered, pin-holed, shivered, crawled, crazed and/or exploded (as it still sometimes does). After more classes, I realized that I wanted to devote myself to ceramics full-time. I set up a studio for myself with all the materials and equipment I would need to become an independent ceramic artist.
There is always more to learn, so although I work alone, I have continued to look to teachers for help with skill building, and learning new techniques. In addition to the DeCordova Museum, I have taken classes and tutorials at the Emerson Umbrella, Mudflat Studios, and the Ceramics Program at Harvard University. I am also grateful to the generous ceramists who post articles, write books, and make instructional videos. In addition, experience has shown me that in the process of working with clay, every piece in every project I attempt gives me its own instructive feedback, whether the outcome is successful or not.
I enjoy experimenting with different techniques, materials, and subjects, sometimes leaning toward functional work, sometimes sculptural, and sometimes a combination of the two. There are some subjects, techniques, and materials to which I find myself returning over time. As a subject, I find hands to be very interesting: how they look, how they function, and how they “speak.” A technique that draws me is double-walled construction, with its complexity and its only-partly-revealed inner world. Among the many possible materials that can be used in ceramics, I am especially awed by both the beauty and the surprise of working with mixed-color clays and crystalline glazes.
Whatever the particular paths I am following, I aspire to make work that is visually interesting, emotionally engaging, and thought-provoking. If it can be funny as well, even better.