“Pottery is among the most ancient of human endeavors, and its basic processes and forms have changed little over time.”
– Kathleen Bickford Berzock, For Heaven and Altar
In Paris I was asked to put together an exhibition on very short notice. Having a tiny studio and no real art supplies at hand, I decided to create a group of collages using simply white paper and black ink. Late one night I crumpled up a quick ink sketch and tossed it on the floor. The next morning, liking the shape of the tossed drawing, I stapled it to the wall as a relief. I made a series of the folded pieces which animated a wall in the exhibition.
Returning home, and thinking about how I might continue my exploration of warped/folded sheets in a more permanent medium, I decided to explore clay, which I had last touched in middle school. I enrolled at Seattle’s Seward Park Clay Studio and had the fine fortune to begin working with ceramicist Kathleen Skeels. One day instead of using glaze, I applied patina to the fired pieces using casein, the paint I’ve worked with for decades. The results were quite wonderful, and set my course with ceramics. I’ve found ceramics a fine intermediary between painting and large sculpture.
A number of my ceramic sculptures are modeled on seeds I’ve collected in Asia, pods I found as I was researching commodities out in the field. My sculptures are made with low-fired terra cotta clay. The pieces leave the kiln strong but porous and willing and able to interact with the casein patina.