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.
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.