I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina in my father’s pottery studio. I was lucky to be immersed in a thriving community of craftsmen who worked in a wide variety of materials and techniques. My father made every dish I ate off of growing up, his best friend made the stained glass window in our living room and the lamp over our dining room table. Another friend made our bathroom sink, and we collected onion skins for another who specialized in natural dyeing. We personally knew the artist of each and every piece on our walls. This rich community of craftsmen greatly shaped how I have come to approach my own work.
Pottery is very much about the physical interaction with the ceramic object, the balance of a piece in the hand, subtle texture over the surface and how the hand will find and experience these areas in a very direct way. I am interested in how the regimented linear geometric patterns and the repetition of my stamps contrast with and accentuate the curves of the thrown form as well as the organic shapes left by the caress of the soda vapor. This innate mark making that the soda creates has led me to a very organic collaboration with the kiln itself. My stamped patterns are built from a single small triangular element. My goal in the repetition of this single element is for the individual stamp to disappear into the larger rhythms of the pattern. Though the stamping itself is the dominant decorative element, I am also delighted by the negative space created by offsetting the patterning so it locks together and creates a dynamic parallel of the pattern in the negative space between rows. Due to the rather deep impressions I create with the physical act of stamping the inside surface of the vessel bears an echo of the patterning on the exterior.
A mug sitting on a clean white pedestal is a dead thing to me. Pottery was never the untouched piece on the top shelf of the china cabinet; it was the much loved mug that you dig for every morning because the coffee just tastes better out of that specific one. I strive for my work to have that same immediacy of being handled or interacted with every day of the owner’s life. My greatest wish is for each piece to invite the viewer to pick it up, touch it, feel it, see how it fits in the hand, converse with it on the most intimate level, skin to skin.