artist statement
This web site highlights some of the work that I do using a variety of construction and
firing methods most of it made in the last five years. I left out my functional and tile
work, thoughI have not stopped making it. I plan to include some on this site in the future.


Clay is an amazing material, so basic, raw and ubiquitous, waiting eons for the slightest
impression, careful marking or spontaneous sweeping gesture to transform it forever. It
begins, a formless mass farther from the infinite possibilities of its final form, perhaps more so than any other art medium. This explains why making things with clay can be technically complex, necessitating a combined application of skill, knowledge, ingenuity, inventiveness and imagination. Where many of today’s contemporary artists work with a variety of media that are specifically chosen for their conceptual support, clay alone presents similar choices. Clay, the chameleon of all media, offers endless technical options, similar to choosing among entirely different media. High fire, low fire, salt, wood-fire, and reduction, offer possibilities that are merely an inkling of the immense playground. Like renowned musician, Miles Davis, innovator
of “fusion jazz,” he constantly reinvented himself by working with different musicians and styles while the trumpet was always his instrument. While I do enjoy working with other media: painting, drawing, etc., clay remains my primary instrument.

My Work

My own work sits somewhere in the middle of this giant paradox: That of letting clay do what it will within the realm of the ceramic process verses my attempt to rein total control over it. Oddly, I find the ceramic process a continuous attempt to execute visions that are never fully realized, yet in doing so, other visions are discovered and invented that perhaps are even better than the original intent. The ceramic process involves making a piece and then subjecting it to a fire, which to varying degrees is always a game of chance. This uncertainty keeps me interested in working with clay. Pulling a piece from the kiln that looks exactly as predicted in not my goal. As my graduate-school teacher, Paul Soldner said, “If I know what it’s going to look like, why make it.” Most of my work, be it functional, vessel, or purely sculptural, involves atmospheric firing processes such as reduction, salt and wood firing, where the element if chance is a prominent factor. I also like to subject my work to chance by multiple firing, applying risky or un-tried glazes, clay bodies, forms and firing combinations.



Recently I have been making sculpture by
combining wheel-thrown orb shapes. I construct sculptures from the basic orb form because of the voluptuous qualities that are possible when juxtaposed in compositions that utilizeinterplay of positive and negative space. The ambiguousness of the orb allows me to assemble works with a variety of implications from anthropomorphic to landscape. Many of my works are inspired by the clustered arrangements of cells, bacteria and viruses found at the microscopic level. I prefer to use glazes and firing methods that encourage surprising variations by the running and bleeding of colorin ways that are directed by the fire and their form.

Sculptural Vessels

This group of bottles, vases, etc., have roots in utilitarian and ritualistic traditions, though they were not intended to be used and probably would not fulfill any functional needs very well. I am more concerned that these works look and operate as sculpture. Most of these works deal with a balancing act of form and texture and glazed surface. I am interested in the complimentary relationships of carved patterns juxtaposed with bold and sturdy form with rough-hewn surface. Atmospheric firings such as wood and salt enhance these forms and surfaces.


I agree with Paul Soldner’s statement, “The
tea-bowl is the smallest most intimate format
of which a complete sculpture can be made”. I enjoy making tea-bowls because they encapsulate a spontaneous dance with the clay that is amply packed with emotional intensity, while paying homage to the masters of tradition yet still offering a personal signature.


My artist/painter friend, Michael Reafsnyder and I happened upon this project one day. I was throwing platters on the wheel as he was slip painting some of his own clay sculptures and I thought out loud “hey, why don’t you throw some of that slip on one of these platters?” He painted up one of the platters, we liked what happened and we both thought at the same time that there should be a series of these.I decided to hand-build some platters especially suited for the series, some that would compliment Michael’s flamboyant painting style. I think the series turned out really awesome. We ended up with a body of work that neither of us would have made on our own. These works were shown in “Combo Platter” at the Harris Gallery at the University of LaVerne in 2007.