For thirty-five years, I’ve been making functional and decorative pottery. During the last decade I’ve felt compelled to make narrative sculptural work as a more personal form of communication. I began to make small sculptures, focusing specifically on memento mori as a thematic base. I structured layers of narrative meaning from that base, using the sculptural form as a means of looking forward and back, simultaneously.
These memento mori pieces provide a way to look into the past, in this case my personal history—that of my grandmothers, my self, my family—and extract the pictures I have of moments of time. The memento mori takes these parts of memory, and builds around them in a way that reconstructs my own life while acting as a reminder that death is always present. Ultimately, death always surrounds these central images one has of life—images caught in the memory—reminding the artist and spectator of its presence.
I have been an artist for 40 years, mostly working in clay. The first seven years were in Madison WI working in a cooperative studio that still exists- the Madison Potter's Guild. http://www.madisonpottersguild.com/about-the-guild/
It was an exciting place to live and work in the 70's. I moved to KY in 1981 and produced several lines of white earthenware, red earthenware, and began working on my pit fired pots. I learned the craft of making traditional white oak baskets from Rachel Nash Law.
I was also weaving rugs on a large loom my father made for me. So, those are pretty traditional crafts and occupied much of my time.
I grew up in Cleveland and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art for a year. My love of art and art history continued at Miami University and later at Morehead State.
Although it all sounds very traditional, I am visually drawn to contemporary art and abstractions of the visual. Honestly, I feel that if art being produced today isn't conceptual it becomes a little extraneous.
For about 30 years I made a living as an artist with my pit fired pieces. In the 80's and 90's there were few if any other potters working with smoke firing. I am pretty bored with it now although I still have some work at the Artisan Center in Berea. I make some functional stone ware for friends and family and so my neighbors can see I do something they can relate to.
Currently I am interested in multi media work and am trying to quit the pots and focus more on other ideas/concepts. Of course it's hard to work it in to having a large garden, riding my horses and other outdoor activities that I love.