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A Personal Statement

Pots are like a tree growing

"Making good pots is more like the process by
which plants grow; or how you and I grow. It
doesn't happen overnight. The complete process re-
quires many steps and much time before the piece
is actually finished. It's like a tree. Sometimes it
takes a long time for things to happen. A month to
learn something new, a few more as you discover
how to blend that with another technique, and
then years for it to integrate and mature."

or a tightrope walk

"On some of these pieces - the teapots and pitch-
ers, for example you stretch the clay to its last
ounce. You're right at the edge of what the clay
can take before it tears or warps because it's been
pulled too thin. It's like tightrope walking. My cera-
mics are only as thick as they have to be; as thin as
they can be. Then they have balance."

or like jazz

"These patterns are like jazz. You have a chord
progression; there's an underlying structure; then
you improvise within it. That makes each piece fit,
while each retains its uniqueness."

but always a mystery.

"My father always said that everytime you open the
kiln, it's like Christmas morning. When you put the
pots in the kiln, the glazes are just different shades
of gray and rust there's no brilliance, no shini-
ness. But when you take the door down, there are
greens, reds, purples, blues and whites. There's tex-
ture and smoothness; vibrance and sheen. Through
the process of firing, you give the pottery life.
There's mystery in the clay. You can only guess
at the forces that happen. When you open the kiln,
maybe you got it right, or maybe you didn't. But
even when you did, you're not sure exactly how."

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