Lately in the studio, I've been allowing my ideas to flow without restraint between my sculpture, pottery, and works on paper. One very recent body of work that I've included here is the Bristlecone Series, which is inspired by the tenacity of the ancient bristlecone pine tree groves located in the White Mountains. I’m drawn to the longevity of the bristlecone trees, to their ability to adapt and survive in harsh conditions, and to the idea that their distinctive shapes are formed slowly, season by season, as a living record of impressions spanning several thousand years. The intersection of time, weather, slow decay and slow growth create poetry in form and surface.
I carve a diverse range of imagery into the surfaces of my work, from the roughly ridged textures of a tree trunk to the classic swirling of a flowing garment. I look to elicit a slight startle, perhaps a smile, and then a feeling of recognition and of empathy. Looking back through my creative trajectory, and gazing forward, the link throughout is rooted in my desire to connect, empower and include.
I make ceramic sculpture using white stoneware, red stoneware and porcelain clay. I construct most of my large-scale work in hollow form, with a building technique of flattened coils, and often create smaller-scaled work in solid clay forms that are then hollowed out. Much of my sculpture is figurative, and most of the details and modeling of features are sculpted by hand. I may deeply carve or texture the surfaces of my sculpture and apply clay slips before the first firing, then layer washes of underglaze color and/or metal oxides before firing the work to completion. My pottery is made using both handbuilding and wheel techniques.
231 Trevethan Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA, USA