My art has always been about the landscapes of northern Michigan: its waters, rolling hills and trees. I started as a painter but was introduced to clay in 1995 and found that its earthiness, textures and functionality communicated to me in a much deeper sense than paint. My challenge, once I had mastered the techniques of clay, was how to interpret the landscape images that are my passion into the functionality of clay.
Originally I used the vessel as a canvas to convey landscape. My technique evolved over time such that the vessel became the landscape. Stoneware, glazes, and stains became birch logs or a cairn of Lake Michigan beach stones cradling a pool of water. I then began to combine elements of birch, water and stone in non-traditional ways, incorporating non-traditional firing techniques.
Functional pottery began to transcend function and became sculptural, combining pit firing and trompe l’oeil surfaces in ways nature never intended. A Petoskey stone became the surface of a double walled bowl whose outer shell is birch and inner bowl a pool of water; the birch log became a lamp with a crowning dome of Petoskey stone; the earthiness of smoke etching the surface of a voluminous vessel combined with a streak of blue-green to become earth and water.
I believe a functional pot that exhibits qualities of nature brings both art and nature into one’s daily experiences thereby enriching the quality of one’s existence. Art from the earth and of the earth becomes a part of us.