I make high-fired functional pottery
in my home studio located in a 175-year-old former dairy
barn on 20 acres atop scenic Catoctin Mountain just a few minutes
west of Leesburg. Studio and showroom are open most days for visitors,
but please call ahead to make sure I'm here.
My purpose as a ceramic
artist is to create objects that are both beautiful and functional.
My sense of beauty is strongly influenced by the beauty I see
in nature -- in its colors and shapes, its textures and rhythms.
A key aspect of nature's esthetic for me lies in its imperfections,
its asymmetrically, its randomness, its unpredictability -- all
qualities I endeavor to capture in my work.
A rural dweller, I
am the lucky and joyful witness daily to the local landscape in
northwestern Virginia, with its lush vegetation, its rolling terrain,
its rocky outcroppings, its streams and woods and earthy colors.
The natural beauty here offers a constant source of inspiration.
Clay is itself of-the-earth, of course,
and for me it is the perfect medium for creative expression. Because
I am working with natural ingredients, which are inherently imperfect,
my purpose is not to try to make perfect forms. I want my forms
to be dynamic, interesting, alive. The shapes and textures I create
out of wet clay are done as quickly and with as little conscious
thought as possible. Imperfections are not only allowed, they
Glazes made from ash
and other natural ingredients are sometimes poured and allowed
to drip down areas of various forms, like water trickling over
rock. When brushwork is applied, that too is done with rapid
gestures rather than following some carefully planned design. And finally the vessels are fired in a salt kiln, where the
sodium vapors react chemically with the silica in the clay body
to form a natural glaze on exposed areas of raw clay, and where
random colors and marks appear unexpectedly, as if by magic
-- gifts from the kiln gods.
The entire process
is in and of nature, and for whatever artistic success I have
achieved I can thank nature itself for providing me with the
stimulus, the materials, and the sense of esthetics that guides
me as I explore the visual and tactile possibilities of my chosen