MY WORK: A STATEMENT

 In front of wood kiln

In front of wood kiln

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.

RESUME (pdf)