The art I make today is a reflection of my interest in Buddhism, particularly the practice of nonattachment.
My artistic process reflects this through an emphasis on motion and improvisation, working with
events as they unfold. Though I often have a rough plan for a piece, I find myself moving in whatever
direction the work takes me.
The Japanese aesthetic notion of “wabi sabi" has driven my recent work. I have been taken in by this
physical manifestation of Buddhist ideas, such as accepting the asymmetries of existence, being comfortable
with the liminal aspects of life, and the coming in and going out of existence of living things. I try to express
these ideas through the surfaces and shapes of my vessels. Working the surface until it is about to fall apart,
the torn, distressed nature of the clay is supposed to reflect the way we are all pushed to our limits, but
manage to hold together as something beautiful.
Working on the potter’s wheel primarily, I treat the surface of the pots with Sodium Silicate, a compound
that dries the surface of the pot almost instantly when it is painted on lightly. Once this occurs, I can carve the
pot, and push out from the center, without touching the outside of the pot, creating a crackle effect everywhere
I push. The crags and valleys you see in my final work all began as pin-thin lines carved into the surface of a
cylinder before the stretching process began.
I usually add underglaze or iron oxide directly to the surface of the wet clay while the pot is still on the
wheel, and paint and draw on the vessels in the round. My subjects usually reflect a wabi-sabi theme: time
passing, slow but beautiful decay, landscapes of trees and mountains, moments of silence or quiet. I hope that
viewing my pieces instills some quiet or at least an appreciation of the less symmetric, uniform parts of life,
that can add much of the spice to existence. By working my forms into irregular, bumpy, cracking vessels, I
try to make my vessels, look like Reality, as a Buddhist might say, as opposed to something computergenerated
or antiseptic, outside of the realm of life and death. I want my work to be intimate and a little offkilter,
for you to have to get used to it a little, and let it grow on you. I want it to be open. That’s how I’d like
to draw the viewer in, and hold them there as long as they want to keep looking.