Vineyard Haven, MA
I use a translucent porcelain body because it has a beautiful surface. It can convey the qualities of light and shadow that I wish to express. After I throw my vessel on the potter's wheel, I alter the form to set up a movement of soft shadow. When the porcelain is leather hard, I carve patterns to add energy and counterpoint. Some of the finished pieces hold elusive glimpses of the balance between the convex and the concave, and light absorbed and reflected. I marry the fine porcelain with the ancient art of gilding. The 23 carat gold leaf illumines the interior of the vessel, to reveal new curves and patterns
2018 Best of Show
I am interested in ideas of structure, architecture, containment, and permanence. My work takes those interests and applies them to porcelain vessels, adding to the continuum of expressive ceramic containers. Porcelain is my drug of choice. My interest in porcelain is its translucence and color, and I push the clay as far as it will go, firing to a very high temperature to obtain the whitest result possible. My use of industrial textures and loose style of construction questions those assumptions. The surfaces and designs bring my working class roots to porcelain vessels.
The combination of the graphic surface with a 3-dimensional form is what I am exploring in my ceramic work. The natural world found in and near the waters of the Chesapeake Bay are the images that I incorporate. Rockfish, sandpipers, jellyfish, terrapins and more might populate the surface of my forms. My forms use a porcelain clay body and are either thrown or hand built. I carve the basic design on leather hard clay before coating with a black terra sigillata.
Recently I have decided to focus my attention on ideologies in modern design, expressionistic and abstract painting, minimalist sculpture and architecture. In my two decades of throwing, I have built a substantial vocabulary of pottery shape and language. It has been essential to me that this foundation remains the strength in my work. Currently I am drawn to arranging garnitures from a body of work, and am intrigued by how they read as a pottery landscape.
My clay vessels order and dignify human life. The slip cast forms are geometric and clean; handles and surfaces are kept very, very simple. The pure surfaces without ornamentation emphasize the materiality of clay and glaze. Glazes are thick, a material presence in themselves. The proportion of glazed to unglazed surfaces and their delineation of the form are primary visual elements. The red clay body adds warmth and life.
When one loves clay, food and making things, a passion for tableware is natural. Because functional craft can add depth and beauty to everyday life, I find my vocation very rewarding. I credit many influences for my design sensibilities: early Korean and Japanese pottery, my architectural studies, and an appreciation for simplicity instilled by my mother.