I am inspired most by my environment and what people want; I like making pottery for people, and I enjoy teaching people how to do it. I want vessels or forms to be functional and to bring beauty to our living spaces. As I delve into the process of form and function, I have discovered over the years that clay has many personalities and directions.
Having spent much time living and working in Europe and the last 38 summers studying and leading workshops in Japan, my pottery is influenced by both Western and Oriental traditions. The Japanese influence on my work has been subtle; it seems other people see the influence more than I do.
I have learned introspection mostly from the Japanese potters. Going within yourself and grasping the concept of the form or design that you create comes from an internal quietness; whereas, the Western philosophy is to go outside of yourself, looking for something 'out there'. Both ways have their merit, but I believe that as I have become more introspective, the clay talks to me. I have become more attuned to my work. It is like a long courtship that develops into a beautiful relationship over time.
What I have developed in my studio is the techniques of processing my own materials; this is what many Japanese potters do. They dig up local materials, grind them down, mix them, and generally experiment with all sorts of combinations, and so come up with their own unique glazes. I started gathering local materials in my own process of formulating glazes seriously about 30 years ago.
I love everything about the process of making pots; the musty smell you get when you first open a bag of clay, to making glazes, and finally, the finished vessel coming out of the kiln. Each piece has its particular sound, texture, and tactile feel. I have passion and a sense of dedication for what I do, both in my own work and in my teaching. I believe it is extremely important to pass along this knowledge.
7475 Oak Ridge Road, Aptos, CA, USA