Designed by OffaPerry

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Artist Statement

            My work grows out of the blended traditions of functional

pottery from England and Japan. I make pots that are meant to be used

and not set up on a shelf. I strive to engage the user and all of his or her

senses. The weight of a bowl in someone’s hands or the texture of a

cup’s edge on the drinker’s lips creates a dialogue between the

maker and user.

            Working within the constraints of utilitarian ware, creates

challenges, but it also allows a level of intimacy and connection

between artist and owner that is not present in most other media.

However, to be effective, what is being communicated must have

depth and strength. I strive to make pots that convey more than just

the ability to function. A styrofoam cup can hold coffee as can any mass produced commercial mug.  My pots need to work, but just being functional or “hand-made” is not enough. To be successful, they need to explore the visual and textural landscape of sculpture and of nature.     

            My focus is on form. I use the potter’s wheel but then alter the shape on the wheel to break up the original lines.  My pots are influenced by the shapes I encounter in the natural world—the shape of a seed pod, a crevice in a rock, or bones protruding against skin. I work in series, exploring related ideas across a variety of functional forms. An idea first developed in a teabowl may then evolve and be explored in a cup, tumbler, or jar.  I explore how a curve can invoke sensuality or create distance. How a trimmed foot can give a pot a sense of stability or capture chaos. In making pots these are choices I make as I try to express fundamental feelings. When my pots are most successful they connect with the user at a gut level, directly and with honesty. They are not contrived or intellectualized.

            I wood fire to preserve the freshness and life of the clay and to document the firing process on the skin of the pot. The process of wood firing to 2,400° Fahrenheit takes more than 20 hours and requires many hands. Firing is a collaborative act with fellow potters and with the environment. The quality of the wood, whether it is raining or not, or the amount of wind all impact the firing and ultimately the resulting pots. The 30-foot flames from the firebox roll through the chamber of the kiln. Where a pot is placed in the kiln affects how much ash is deposited on the pot and whether the iron blush—called flashing—is brought to the surface of the bare clay. I use a quiet palette of glazes that complement the ash and flashing marks of the fire, and I leave large portions of the pot unglazed so that the passage of the flame and placement in the kiln is permanently recorded on the skin of the pot. I want the user to experience the pot both as I saw it on the wheel and during its birth in the fire.

All of my work is dishwasher and microwave safe

Ceramic Background 

  • University of Colorado, Boulder (1977-1981), Studio art courses (David Floria, Wayne Branum)

  • Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina (1989, 1991, & 1992; Jeff Oestreich, Clary Illian, & Randy Johnston) 

  • Arrowmont School  of Arts and Craft, Gatlinburg, Tennessee (1996, Pete Pinnell)

  • Hood College, Frederick, MD (2017, Kevin Crowe)

Curator

  • "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry," (September 1-30, 2018). Del Ray Artisans Gallery, Alexandria VA. National juried (Lisa York, juror) ceramic show and regional non-ceramic show.

  • "Fire and Earth," (September 2-October 2, 2016). Del Ray Artisans Gallery, Alexandria, VA. National juried (Dan Finnegan, juror) cup show and regional non-ceramic show.

 

Recent Juried National/International Exhibitions

2019

You've Been Served: Cup Show 2019

           Clay Arts Vegas & University of North Dakota

           Urban Forage Winery and Cidar House, Minneapolis, MN

Mugshots2: 2nd International Biennial Juried Ceramic Coffee Mug Competition and Exhibition

           Juror: Marko Fields

           Mojo Coffee Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

5th Annual Dirty South Cup Exhibition

            Juror: Doug Peltzman

            River Oaks Square Art Center, Alexandria, LA

Twin Cups: National Ceramics Exhibition 2019

            Juror: Vernica Watkins

            MWSU Dept. of Art, St. Joseph, MO

The Cup Show: 2019

            Juror: Katie Bosley

            Clay Arts Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

SIP: A Ceramic Cup Show

            Juror: Liz Slot Summerfield

            Savanah Clay Community, Savanah, GA

2018

Brew Vessels Invitational

              Invited Artist

              Workhouse Ceramics

              Lorton Workhouse Art Center, Lorton, VA

Tabletop: Functional Artwork for the Table

             Juror: Cathi Jefferson

             Art League Gallery, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

Atmospheric

            Juror: Linda Christianson

            Clay Center of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Missouri Western State University Clay Guild:

Twin Cups: National Ceramics Exhibition 2018

            Juror: Mike Stumbras

            MWSU Dept. of Art, St. Joseph, MO

On the Rocks: An Exhibition of Vessels For and Related to Drinking

               Juror: Pete Pinnell

           Pewabic Pottery, Detroit, MI

2017

Shino Splendor Exhibition

            Juror: Joe Hicks

            District Clay Gallery, Washington, DC

National Beer Drinking Vessel Exhibition

            Juror: Kenyon Hansen

            District Clay Gallery, Washington, DC

The National Juried Bowl Show: The Battle of the Bowls

            Juror: David Crane

            Academy Center for the Arts, Lynchburg, VA

Conductivity: The Many Faces of Copper in Ceramics

            Juror: Dick Lehman

             Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN

3rd Annual Clayfest Cup Show: Deep Inner Cups

            Juror: Richard Wehrs

            Gallery Zeke, Steelville Arts Council, Steelville, MO

The Hudgens 2nd National Juried and Invitational Cup Exhibition

             Juror: Garth Johnson

            Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, GA

SIP: A Ceramic Cup Show

            Juror: Kimberly Riner

            Savanah Clay Community, Savanah, GA

Cup Show 2017

            Jurors: Nolan Baumgartner and Peter Jakubowski

            Clay Arts Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

2016

4th Annual Cup Show

            Juror: Courtney Murphy.

            Studio 550 Art Center, Manchester, NH

The National Juried Bowl Show: The Battle of the Bowls

            Juror: Ted Batt

            Academy of Fine Arts, Lynchburg, VA

Tabletop

            Juror: McKenzie Smith

            Art League Gallery, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA

Sweet and Slippery Slope: The Art of Sex and Sexuality

           Jurors: Lauren Henkle & Peter Jakubowski

           Clay Arts Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

2016 2nd Annual Dirty South Mug Competition

            Juror: Kristen Kieffer.

            River Oaks Square Art Center, Alexandria, LA

Cup Show 2016

            Jurors: John Gregg & Peter Jakubowski.

            Clay Arts Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Drink Me: Cups, Mugs, and Tumblers

            Juror: Sebastian Moh

            Mariani Gallery, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

SIP: A Ceramic Cup Show

            Jurors: Jen Jenkins, Jane Pleak, Kevin Ryan, & Meredith Sutton

            Savanah Clay Community, Savanah, GA

2015

Cup of Comfort International Ceramics Biannual

            Juror: Ray Chen

            New England Institute of Education Gallary, Falmouth, ME

35th Anniversary Exhibition

            Juror: Deborah Bedwell

            Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD

2015 Dirty South Mug Competition

            Juror: Tom Coleman

            River Oaks Square Art Center, Alexandria, LA

Drink This: The Workhouse International Ceramic Cup Show

            Juror: Phil Rodgers

            The Workhouse Art Center, Lorton, VA

2014

2nd Annual Cup Show

            Juror: Jeremy Randell

            Studio 550 Art Center, Manchester, NH

Biennial Cup Show

            Juror: Matt Schiemann

            Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg, FL

Joy of Drinking National Juried Competition

            Juror: Nathan Falter

            Phoenix Fired Art, Joplin, MO

            Honorable Mention

Experience Transformations: The Impact of Clay

            Jurors: Sarah McCann & Brett Freund

            Baltimore Clayworks & Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD

Cup Show

            Jurors: John Gregg & Peter Jakubowski

            Clay Arts Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

14th Annual National Juried Cup Show

            Juror: Jake Alee

            Kent State University, School of Art Galleries, Kent, OH

On the Rocks II Exhibition

            Juror: Amy Chase

            Spot 5 Art Center Gallery, Louisville, KY