My mother’s life and work are probably one of the greatest influences on my life. She used color, form and textures to create her intaglio etchings, having such control over her medium that it often seemed like magic. My home in clay has allowed me to explore color, form and texture in a 3 dimensional medium. I love creating complex surfaces and work that reveals something a little different each time it is viewed. I incorporate lizards and frogs in my work which serve as metaphors for the transformation that happens when I start with a lump of clay and end up with a finished product.
Now that I have turned to working in clay full time, I find that I sometimes have to balance what I would like to make, with making things that will pay the bills. However, even with my functional work I try and use color, form and texture in different combinations so each piece is unique. The upside is that each piece is unique. The downside is that it is difficult for me to recreate a piece exactly like another one, although I can often come close. There are production potters who are very good at what they do, I am just not one of them. I do frequently work in series because I find that it allows me to explore an idea more fully, and to create a body of work that has more cohesiveness. Currently I am working on 2 series; one will be dedicated to my mother’s work and another to explore the passage of time which I find fascinating as I get older. I also like to complete work in batches so I can experiment with the same form but using different clay bodies or different surface decorations.
And that is what makes me love clay – it is fun, challenging and never boring. I have endless ideas and possibilities to try each time I enter the studio. Sometimes there are so many it is overwhelming. Each clay body I use provides different opportunities to explore how form and surface can connect. I love the immediacy and unpredictability of Raku firing, and have recently started exploring wood and salt/soda firing. Even with electric firing, each kiln load is different. I believe I am very lucky to be able to play in the mud and still have fun doing it.