The earth is made of sand, stone and water that make up the landscapes. These inspire my work evoking vistas and visions. In addition, these landscape components also make up clay which can be turned into natural forms again through the artistic process. The special geological features of the world, particularly mountains and large vistas, are a strong source of inspiration. With climate changes happening rapidly, creating new forms for display in the landscape, reminding us of nature, seem more and more important with every passing day.
Each new form is inspired by some natural structure or idea, building either on a memory of a form or other ideas and impressions. Some work is intended to reference a specific place or time. In many instances, I use photos as a reference “jog” of places visited. It is important for me to have a real connection to the place, such as having been there myself, even if it was years ago. However, some things are deeply seared into the mind and emotion, re-emerging later, unconsciously inspiring work built from imagination, and melding all the memories together.
Travel has always been an important stimulant for me. In new settings, the mind is open to connections that are not as obvious in the routines of everyday life. Such new settings also provide new perspectives and experiences that are fresh and additive to my knowledge base. This sometimes provides the path to challenges that have not been recognized before. Fresh ideas may also alter the view of previous pieces or lead to the creation of totally new ones. In addition, similarities of place not recognized before can become obvious. This is particularly important because place is my primary inspiration. In addition to being inspired by monumental vistas, I envision my work larger installed as small monuments themselves.
Smaller work, and functional work are also inspired by these same concepts and provide the option for experimenting with less risk, i.e. an opportunity to “play”. I often explore new methods of forming, decorating and finishing, with the smaller forms, and enjoy every minute of it.
My preference is use of high fired processes for all of my work. I find that the high temperature of the firing process used can be highly unpredictable and variable. Each firing can deliver some surprises and disappointments, not unlike what occurs in nature. This approach to creating holds real appeal for me, perhaps because the exact outcome of each final piece is not guaranteed. Using durable stoneware that can withstand weather changes and many temperature ranges, makes it possible to enhance various local views and honor the natural scenes.