My clay journey started in 1971, and since 1978 I have been making my living as a professional potter and ceramic artist in Alberta, Canada. My approach to working with clay evolves as I investigate function and aesthetics (an appreciation of beauty). Shapes and designs build upon themselves, and new versions of form and decoration filter through the body of work to refresh the process.
Through exploring various methods to decorate my functional and artistic pieces, my work has a strong contemporary feel. This contemporary direction comes from extensive glaze development and commitment to clay while exploring the many aspects of its technical challenges. I love the rich colors cone 10 glazes (high fire 2380˚F) give to my white porcelain clay body and the discovery of opening every kiln load. Will the glaze reveal texture on a piece? Will it run on a vertical piece if combined with another glaze? What kind of a piece can I use this new glaze on? The answers to these questions come from continuing exploration and testing.
A love of detail and drawing are the major influences on my new work, which focuses on using texture and line. For texture impressions on clay, stamps and rollers can be made from bisqued clay or by carving a lino block tile. I create my designs on paper, transfer it and carve the tile. The stamp can be used many times and in different ways. Drawings can also be developed further on the computer, such as reversing and duplicating the image. The tile is laid on the soft clay and rolled with a rolling pin, with firm pressure, to make the impression. I first used this process on small bowls and continued developing it for use on larger vases and art pieces.
I have also used the lino blocks to make framed art prints and, so far, have expanded this process to decorate tiles, trays, book covers, boxes, vases, mugs, glasses, jugs, and vessels. One of the printed vases in the Clay 2010 show, was purchased for the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Using and developing this process has inspired me and opened new directions and ideas for exploration.
It is my desire to create forms with rich surfaces. I believe ceramic pieces become more valuable with use.