My studio overlooks open pasture and woods in rural Western Massachusetts.
There is very little distraction from the outside world, which allows me to focus on the clay.
Because of my surroundings, I have begun to use brush strokes that reflect the plant life around me. Another benefit of my rural setting is the ability to have both a gas and a wood fired kiln. Each type of firing has its own unique beauty.
For me, throwing pots is a meditation at the wheel. Each pot is like a sketch, so each piece is distinctive. Don't expect dinnerware sets, but do expect work that is special and unique.
My current work is thrown with porcelain clay, using old Asian glazes and techniques. Porcelain is a very white clay, which is sometimes translucent. This quality allows the glaze to show its true colors, which might otherwise be lost.
One technique that I use is called "chattering." Using an L shaped piece of metal that vibrates off the clay while spinning, I chip off small pieces of the clay to create a design. The piece is then covered with a translucent glaze, such as celadon. When fired, the areas that were chipped away accept the glaze differently, becoming darker. A nice texture develops, both visually and to the touch.
One of my greatest influences is the Japanese Mingei Folk Art Movement of the early 20th century. A reaction to the Industrial Age, the Mingei movement focuses on the overlooked beauty of arts and crafts made by ordinary people that are practical and useful in everyday life.
Other influences are the New England potters of the 17th and 18th centuries. Many were anonymous potters who made their wares for everyday use. Many of these vessels were fired in wood with salt glazes. The charm of these pieces often come from the "happy accidents" that happen when firing in wood. Unexpected flashes of color give each piece a unique beauty on all sides, due to temperature variations and firing techniques.
I make pottery with a view of how it compliments food being served, My work is simple and functional with design elements that do not distract from the food being presented. I have always been fascinated by the vessel, the shape, the usage and the visual beauty.