I came to ceramics rather late in life, after a 20-year career flying an airplane in Alaska. My time in Alaska was the consequence of a lifelong desire to immerse myself in wild places. Of the wilderness I have wandered in, the mountains and canyons of the Colorado Plateau region are especially dear to my heart, and my spiritual home is in the Grand Canyon. Rocks and colorful soil are the most essential features of the canyon country, and my aesthetic vision has been tuned to the characteristics and beauty of mineral surfaces. An interest in clay and pottery making was thus quite natural when I retired from flying in order to make beautiful and interesting objects.
The creative process for me is an integration of the purposeful expression of an idea with the unconscious kaleidoscope of aesthetic influences encountered over the course of my life. The ordered chaos of Nature and the contemplative practices of Zen provide a bounty of inspiration. I seek to make objects which embody subtlety, whose refinement and elegance come to be known gradually. Thus I attempt to lay the foundation for a durable relationship, wherein my clay work may enhance the aesthetic experience of home and bring a sense of occasion to the myriad small moments which comprise our days.
I strive to make pottery that is robust, generous and unpretentious. Firing my work in a wood-burning kiln, an anagama, has become compelling to me for both the finished results and the opportunity to extend the creative process into the firing stage. I also enjoy the opportunity for serendipity that wood-firing occasions, since the patterns of flame and ash inside the kiln cannot be completely controlled. I see my clay forms as both the canvasses upon which I will paint with fire, and as the formal structural elements which balance the organic patterns that flame creates..
I once read that the Chinese word for "beauty" literally translates as "the markings in jade." I believe that we unconsciously recognize the seemingly random order of Nature as beautiful, and I embrace a process that brings some of that magic to my work.
I am currently living and working in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, a climate characterized by rain and fog throughout much of the year. While I am sure that some part of the mists have found their way into my work, I am currently too immersed to be clear about how this influence manifests.