MY WORK: A STATEMENT
My first studies of the art of pottery were at the University of California at Santa Cruz with Al Johnsen. There I learned the basics of making pots and it was really from that time in the mid 1970’s that I felt drawn to the great pottery traditions of East Asia. These traditions have since been a source of inspiration in my work. Through my studies first of Chinese at UCSC and then Japanese while living in Japan, these cultures have become more accessible to me. I have been able to study with potters in Taiwan and Japan, and to find my own way.
The greatest influence on my clay work is undoubtedly the Japanese potter/artist Yoshihiko Yoshida. I was fortunate to find such a generous man to study and apprentice with for a period of 3 years between 1983 and 1987. His philosophy, emphasizing simplicity and vitality in clay work, embodies what I aspire to achieve in pottery.
The pottery-forming techniques and kiln-firing experiences I gained at Yoshida’s studio were invaluable, but there was perhaps a deeper lesson I learned while working with him. That has to do with having a breadth of vision in one’s work. Yoshida is an avid student of art through the ages, and there were always old objects at his house to be viewed, held, & studied. The objects spanned the world, including textiles from Indonesia, jars and carvings from Africa, ancient pottery from Asia, and the list goes on. I knew without having to be told that my beginning efforts as a potter had a long way to go to measure up to such master works of the past.
From Japan back to the USA, I settled in the Portland area in 1988 where I remain to this day. I use both stoneware and porcelain clays, throwing on the wheel & forming with slabs. A white slip is often used, most of the pots are glazed, and all are fired in high-temperature reduction atmospheres in the gas or wood-fired kilns.