Artist’s Statement

Pools of Color detail

My interest in clay as an artistic medium began in 1984. Like most beginners in the medium, I focused on creating wheel thrown vessels. After several years I switched to hand-building techniques because I found that I could produce subtle textures that allowed me to create very rich and powerful shapes. This texture is important to me because I can feel the clay with my eyes. The slightly undulating surface reminds me of the original plasticity of the clay and viewers can imagine my hands leaving those marks as I create each piece.

My sculptures grow from the multitude of images in the natural world. I do not try to recreate these natural objects, but rather use them as a springboard to create my own organic work. For instance, I will admire a specific curve of a seed pod or the relationship between two bones lying on the ground which will become the basis of a piece. I let these ideas percolate through my brain and often work out pieces in sketches and maquettes. I want the pieces to relate to nature rather than mimic it.

Natural surroundings also influence my work and lead me in new directions. In the high desert color comes in intense bursts and punctuates the landscape rather than dominates it. Living in New Mexico, I’ve changed how I perceive color and how I use it in my work. I now use color as a key element of my sculptures to enhance the whole, much like a cactus becomes even more visually striking when in full bloom.

Form is also an essential component of my sculpture. The right form can give my work a sense of motion or forge a relationship between the different parts of a single piece. Visual tension is created by an unstable asymmetry in a sculpture while perfect balance elicits a feeling of calm. There is reciprocity here: just like natural forms suggest the sculptures I create, I like to use the forms of my sculptures to evoke a response or feeling in the people viewing my work.