- B.F.A., California State University, Long Beach
- M.F.A., Indiana University
My search to understand the world, the struggle to reconcile its harsh realities, and my fears of the unknown, have been the driving forces behind my artwork for some time. My subject matter is a representation of plant life and the microscopic world. I am interested in transforming and mutating the imagery to discover new anthropomorphic forms. I find that I am fascinated in beauty and repulsion, as well as life and death. The tension between the polarities is what energizes my process.
The ceramic process and manipulation of form and surface is instrumental in the creation of my visual language. The relationship of surface and form establishes a dialogue in each sculpture. Surface grows and ages with the form, and colors are alive in the layers of the surface.
I use many different building techniques, from paper clay slabs and slip castings, which enables me to build large pieces that are very lightweight, to pinched coils and wheel thrown parts. The addition of paper fibers to my clay allows me to do many things that otherwise would be unheard of. Some examples are: making a large form thinner than 1/8th of an inch, adding wet clay to bone dry clay, adding wet clay to bisque or glaze, and keeping the part I am working on very wet while the rest of the sculpture is drying out. I am also interested in the repeated layering of glaze surfaces. I am only satisfied when the surface is encrusted with texture to the extent that it no longer is recognizable as a traditional ceramic surface. I multi-fire each sculpture until the form comes alive. The layers of information create a history of the process, culminating in a representation of growing, and aging.
Branches, roots, bones, microorganisms, and abstracted body parts are some of the ingredients that occupy my imagination. I remember the first time I looked at plant tissues under a microscope. They were alive, moving, foreign, and intimidating. I felt uncomfortable and mesmerized in the same instance. I search to find odd and quirky forms that suggest breathing living organisms, gasping for the last breath of air.