My artist statement is currently being revised, and will be posted in the near future.
CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO EXPAND
WOOD AND SODA WOOD FIRED WORKS
Some of the works in this grouping were fired in an Anagama wood kiln, while others were fired in a wood soda kiln, both of which were built by my undergraduate professor, Marvin Bjurlin. After his retirement, Marv brought a network of potters and ceramic artists together to form the Chataqua Area Potters group, otherwise known as CAPS. It is through this amazing group that I have been able to continue experimenting with a variety of clay bodies, forms, slips and glazes within the wood and soda atmosphere in the years after leaving graduate school. As you will see, I have explored the human face, a variety of animal forms, vessel forms, and hand carved pottery.
HANDBUilt underglazed earthenware bowls
For a few years, in large part, the addition of color was something I took out of my work in order to explore the beauty of raw clay and how the firing process changed that surface. I used those works to study and understand how light and shadow play on a forms surface. In contrast, this series of large earthenware bowls were a playful exploration of reintroducing surface decoration, and allowing that to be the main focus. Each bowl is hand built and painted with vibrant underglazes sealed under a glossy low-fire clear glaze. The exterior of each bowl was left the simple color of the earthenware clay, with little hiccups of the painting inside peeking over the edge. This is meant to lure people closer to each bowl in order to see the entire painting. Almost making the viewer a voyeur.
Installation sculptural Works
The series or works shown in this grouping was made during a period in my work in which I purposely removed nearly all surface decoration, focusing on raw materials, light and shadow on form, and how various firing processes change the appearance of clay. The majority of these pieces are fired in a gas reduction kiln, while others went through the American Raku firing process. Other components include hammered copper and cast bronze.
A Glimpse into my PROCESS:
Process is an ever-evolving problem to solve, with each project having its own challenges. Below are a few images showing pieces of some of those puzzles.
OIL PAINTINGS IN PROGRESS
It is important to my practice to experiment with a variety of mediums and processes. Below are a few of those studies.
I am curious about everyday objects in our homes and how ornate they often are. Below are a few samples from a series of mosaics I made exploring this curiosity. In this series I made mosaic framed mirrors, mosaic picture frames, mosaic wall pieces, and a mosaic table. Each tile is cut and painted by hand with bright factory made glazes. I rarely use glazes I don't make myself, so this was a fun experiment. These pieces helped me to better understand the mosaic process and low fire glazes.
WHEN THE CROWS FLY
With this installation exhibit I explored the idea of spirituality. We often associate ourselves with the natural environment. For example you might see an image of a tree with a families heritage displayed on its branches, or hear someone say I feel as free as a bird, or I'm as strong as a lion, or as fast as the wind. How we visualize both our physical traits, as well as those elements of humanity that are invisible to the eye, the human spirit or inner self, is fascinating. In this exhibit, I envisioned death and the release of a persons soul or spirit. The crows carved into the figure represent a spirit, or the memory of a passed loved one visiting a person, flowing in and through that individual, and being released out of her outstretched hand. The crow then joins the flock of 'spirits,' or memories of lost people flowing in and around us. The crows on the blank gallery walls represent the unknown, or the world of the dead, and the large clay tiles represent the fabric and structure of the living.
Veins of thought
for julia bloom
Julia Bloom was a very dear friend of mine. We grew up in the same small town, graduated high school the same year, and we both started and completed our undergraduate work at SUNY Fredonia. After Fredonia she moved to Phoenix Arizona to continue her education to become a doctor. Sadly, she passed away in a terrible accident while in Phoenix. This knowledge came to me in my first semester of graduate school, which deeply affected my work. This installation was made in her memory.
FOR julia bloom statement:
As I began graduate school I experimented with many different surfaces and forms. Below are a few examples of those pieces. Some of these works have an encaustic surface I made from natural beeswax, damar crystals (tree resin), and paint pigments. I also played with pit firing methods and raku glazes and firings. You will also see the use of hand forged enameled copper and brass along with other mixed media.
EXPLORING COLD SURFACES and sculpture
The images below display the beginning of my dive into sculpture.