My fascination with the art of other cultures and ancient civilizationsbegan as a child when my grandmother took a photograph in Egypt that was published in National Geographic. The pages of that magazine introduced me to a big world that I still enjoy exploring through travel and making art. My work is often inspired by traditional craft and folk art found while traveling in foreign lands. These discoveries inform my ceramic vessels, wall pieces and abstract figures.
I find patterns everywhere, particularly in textiles, traditional costumes and architectural details. I translate these patterns into textures; carving and impressing my interpretation of these designs into moist clay. This process allows me to explore cultural motifs that are both unique and universal, to become more familiar with our world and to honor the vast variety of human artistic expression.
My ceramics practice has evolved over four decades and has included exploration of a wide range of fabrication and firing texniques. For many years I have favored hand-building with slabs and coils which enable me to create expressive surfaces and distinctive forms. A recent series using these techniques was inspired by Cycladic tomb figures but with an international twist. My figurative forms are simplified and stylized like their ancient counterparts, but they are wrapped with slabs that reference the traditional dress of places I have visited. Rather than specific facial features,their faces are spirals which gives them a universal look. These spirals symbolize balanced growth and transformation.
I sometimes incorporate fused or cast glass with my ceramic pieces. The glaze that is often applied to the surface of clay is actually a thin layer of glass. I explore the symbiotic relationship between clay and glass by firing these two materials separately and then combining them. The juxtaposition of shiny transparent glass with matte opaque clay creates a vibrant contrast.
I greatly appreciate that ceramics connects me to the past, the present and the future through the long continuum of ceramic tradition. When I visit museums and view the long and varied history of ceramics, I am proud to be part of this global heritage. Each time I incorporate imagery into my work that has been inspired by what I have seen, my art becomes a reflexion of my experience.
I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and discovered ceramics as an undergraduate art major at UCSB, the University of California at Santa Barbara. Clay has been my passion and pursuit ever since. After graduation I stayed in Santa Barbara for a number of years and developed my skills working as a functional potter and part-time ceramics teacher. During these years I also organized workshops for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and founded and ran the Palm Park Craft Center for the Santa Barbara Recreation Department.
After six years I returned to school and earned a Masters Degree in Art Education from San Francisco State University. While in grad school I met the man who is now my husband. After graduation I moved to Hawaii (where he was living) to begin our life together.
Over the last 33 years my husband’s career has taken us to interesting locations, and in each place I established a studio, exhibited and sold my work, and developed lifelong friendships with wonderful artists. I have made connection with the arts community wherever we have lived, including Honolulu, Colorado, Connecticut, New York City and San Francisco. The most inspiring was NYC where I spent endless hours in museums and galleries, and also discovered and studied glass as an artixtic medium. For the last 20 years, much of my work has combined ceramics and glass.
I currently live half of the year in San Francisco and the other half in Evergreen, Colorado. I maintain a studio in each place; they provide very different working environments. In Colorado my studio in the woods is a few steps from our house. My San Francisco studio is in a busy urban neighborhood in a converted warehouse that I share with100 artists who work in a wide range od media. I treasure the contrast between these two situations: the solitude in one and the community in the other. The balance between the two has encouraged growth in my artistic practice.