“My current work is influenced, as always, by my internal logic as well as daily occurrences. Lately, auditory cues seem to fuel me as much as visual sensations. It could be the singular birdsong at first light that becomes a cacophony of voices creating a layering of pitch, texture, and rhythm, which is suddenly shot through with the town’s train whistle. Or listening to a Beethoven sonata, its structure presented, expanded, broken, enhanced, the pulse quickened. Or playing Poulenc nocturnes on the piano: the unusual chords unfamiliar to hand but yielding such satisfaction. Observances such as these weave through my day in the studio, sifting out in mysterious and abstract ways. I remain open to the idea that an unforeseen disruption can lead to a novel outcome.
Visually, I’m drawn to playful, rich, oddball colors. I aim for isolation and clarity of color, as well as luminosity. I find inspiration in such diverse works as the lush paintings of Thomas Nozkowski and the pieced quilts of Gee’s Bend. I lean toward more austere, spare forms: architectonic, Shakeresque. I often use geometric structure to map the space of a pot. The pinched coils create a visual texture, tempo and rhythm, inherent to the process. Antiphonal call and response music seems the perfect parallel of working intuitively in the studio, as each exchange with the clay beckons the next.”
CLAY | Functional pottery
Penland Affiliation | Penland Core Fellow 1979-1981, Penland Instructor 2022, former Penland Staff
Artist Information | Studio artist; education: MFA Louisiana State University (LA), BFA Ohio University (OH); teaching: Anderson Ranch (CO), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (ME), Northern Clay Center (MN), Rhode Island School of Design (RI); exhibitions: TRAX Gallery (CA), Flower City Arts Center (NY), Red Lodge Clay Center (MT), ClayAKAR (IA), Worcester Center for Crafts (MA).
Artist Statement | My pots are handbuilt, pinching up each layer of rolled coil to build a form. Pinching is a slow, rhythmic process that allows time to envision a piece while building. The direct touch creates a visual tempo inherent to the building process. Throughout my forty-some years of working with clay, I have tended to work intuitively, encouraging a great deal of collaboration with the clay. Why earthenware? The physicality of earthenware clay in nature: eroding and tumbling, washing and settling with organic matter appeals to me. Earthenware is the common clay- its ubiquitous nature means that it is nearly always nearby or underfoot.
My first studio pursuit was in painting, and I continue to be informed by both contemporary and historical paintings. I approach the surface of the pot as a painter, using abstract geometric structure to map the geography of the pot, enlivening it with painterly brushing of colored slips and glazes. The glazes are playful, saturated, and luminous. Though densely layered, the resulting surfaces reveal the warmth of the red clay beneath, and patterns often punctuate surface activity. Such diverse works as the lush paintings of recent contemporary painter Thomas Nozkowski, and the current and historical quilts of Gee’s Bend inspire me.
Technical Information | Coiled and pinched earthenware