The intuitive nature of working, the decisions made with the hands and the heart, and the spontaneity allowed – all of these keep me engaged during the act of creating with clay.
Although I have moved from creating functional work to less functional work, the vessel remains the form I repeat most often. I strive for clarity and simplicity of form to accentuate the magical effects of smoke in sawdust firing, a process which has captured my attention and imagination over the past several years. By using terra sigillata or by burnishing, I am constantly amazed by the astonishing variety and unpredictable results in both surface pattern and colour on my vessels. I find the surface often resembles lichen, rock or the night sky, always with a very organic look. I welcome the opportunity to explore surface without the use of glaze.
My work is hand built and wheel thrown, both decorative and functional. I bisque fire my work after burnishing or applying multiple layers of terra sigillata to the surface. Then, the process of sawdust firing begins with natural materials, using wood and sawdust for fuel. I often add compost, salt, copper, pine boughs and other organic materials to the firing to help create complexity and color on the surface of my vessels. This trial and error method of firing, sometimes resulting in failure, sometimes joy, keeps me humble and always wanting to do more.