Do you have a favorite mug? You know the one. It holds just the right amount of coffee and feels as if it was made especially for your hand. I have a few of those: one for everyday coffee, one for weekend coffee, one for tea, one for tea when I'm feeling under the weather and one for hot boozy drinks. In fact, I just decided one of my cups (made by a dear friend) would only be used for drinking wild nettle tea.
I enjoy thinking about daily rituals. How much coffee do you need to get through the morning paper? How much tea will last through a relaxing bath? I love to make pots that enrich daily routines.
My stacking cups are tactile and comfortable to use. The grooved contours are indicative of the making process and invite the hand. While forming them, I consider not only their function as a drinking vessel, but as an interactive assemblage in your cupboard. Making them stackable encourages engagement with the piece and let's face it, we all could use more storage.
Being open to new processes is an important part of my studio practice. My professor (and one of my favorite people) , Steve Loucks, would constantly remind me, “Never let your process dictate your ideas.” I try my best to consider every tool I have access to as I start a new project. Sometimes the tool is the potter’s wheel, sometimes paper patterns, sometimes a clay extruder, but more often it’s just my hands.
One of my favorite ways to work is to cut up and reassemble wheel-thrown parts. The combination of throwing and hand building is challenging and makes my imagination run wild. I make the parts one day and cut them up the next day (after they’ve had time to harden). The rest between those steps create a distance that allows me to see the project with new eyes. I am able to envision new solutions - a new interpretation of yesterday’s idea. So much fun.
I fell in love with pinching when I read Paulus Berensohn’s book Finding One’s Way With Clay. Until reading Paulus’s book, I had always strived to make my pots perfectly or tried to make them resemble something I had seen. It was a great freedom to allow the clay to take the lead. Pinching it leaves beautiful, rhythmic marks - a reminder of the gentle touch of the process.
"When you lift my mug, it should feel as though you were taking hold of my hand. When I lift yours, it should feel as though I were dancing with you." -Paulus Berensohn
Orchid Pots have become one of my favorite objects to make. Cutting shapes out of the clay has been an invigorating way to explore design and to discover relationships between the shape of the pot and the shapes of its graphics. Making these is a fun way to indulge my curiosity about these things.
I started building this body of work as a way to examine my relationship with curiosity. This is only the beginning of my investigation and my first interest, the forest, seemed an appropriate place to launch.
When I remember being small, in the forest, the first thing that comes to mind is the feeling of pine sap on my fingers. I know it’s sticky and is going to take three days to wash it off, but I can’t help myself. I always pick up pine cones, needing to feel the prickle of the scales and admire the spiral that embellishes the bottom. The sense of touch is prominent in all my early forest memories. I can feel my feet dragging through the sea of pine straw in the thicket I used to play in with my brothers. We would make a collection of all the relics we found and put them on a shelf in our fort. The forest, my encyclopedia of texture, has held my attention since.
While working on this series, it became apparent that I was constructing an homage to a child’s curiosity.I am excited to explore curiosity in a broader way. I hope embracing it will allow me to move through this world with more empathy and generosity.
I am constantly exploring the shapes and tactility of rural industry. Rusty remnants of farm tools and machinery appeal to me; I love to envision these shapes with a new purpose and dignity. This cairn series is new and I am eager to further develop this vocabulary of shapes.