I find peace and silence of all disturbances when working with clay. Every step from start to finish involves coordinated action and movement. Making clay, looking through idea starters, throwing the vessel, trimming, bisqueing, glazing and final firing all require the diligent kind of creative work I love. I find it satisfying to make things with my hands and then to see the excited look on the faces of those who appreciate the end result. My goal is to fully express my artistic creativity with the community of artists involving best technique, unique design, innovative style and cultural relevance.
Stoneware clay is my preferred medium because it is down to earth and resilient. Many times I will leave selected surfaces unglazed to show the true quality of the clay and the result of the firing process on the clay body. Often I pick a colorful glaze that contrasts with the bare clay like the shiny blue sky and the desert sand or a beautiful red rose and the fertile dirt of Spring. To bring about this beauty I like to wood-fire. The wood-fire process amazes me, the expressions shown on the pots, and the richness that the extreme temperatures draw from the glazes is amazingly splendid and varied.
I graduated from homeschool in 2005 and have attended three colleges; The U of M Twin Cities, Kilgore College (TX), and Lake Superior College (Duluth, MN). I started working with clay in 2009 and in 2010 started taking ceramics and business classes at LSC. My original intent for going to school was to get a degree in computers and business. Now I have added ceramics to my original goals.
Stoneware is the main clay medium I use although you will find me using porcelain occasionally. All of my work is fired twice; once as bisque and a second time in either a gas or wood fire kiln. The pots are fired to cone 10 (2300° F) and are perfectly safe for food, dishwashers, microwaves and even the oven. Most of the pots I make are glazed with an ash glaze of my own design. I sometimes dip or pour another glaze near the top of the vessel for the contrasting glossy matte look.
I enjoy using ash glazes, especially those I have designed myself. It is interesting how the ash glaze looks a lot like the vein systems found in nature. Humans, plants, animals, and all living things share what I like to call “The Veins of Life”. There is usually the main branch which then divides into more and more branches. Without this system in place life wouldn’t exist in either the physical or the spiritual world. Much of my work is thrown and then artistically styled before taking it off the wheel. Each vessel is thrown without precise specifications in mind. I like to play with the clay and sometimes see what I can get away with. The biggest influence that I find when working with clay is God’s creation and the infinite possibilities when making something. Just as God is working with each of us like a peice of clay, each vessel is unique and specially made for a purpose.