As an artist, and in particular a ceramic artist, I am interested in functionality and the utility of a piece. I make ceramic vessels that are meant to be held and used. I believe that the real beauty of my pieces lies in their use and the characteristics that make them easy and enjoyable to use. I strive to blend the utilitarian focus of my work with the creation of beautiful objects. In my forms, I am interested in the marks of the process of making and the warmth and character of handmade pieces. I allow my forms to be altered by the act of throwing, which is recorded in the movement and rhythm of the surface and the throwing lines left by my fingers and tools. The forms I create invite decoration that harmonizes with them.
Another aspect of my work is a sense of being true to my materials and my process. My firing methods are chosen in this spirit, in order to not obscure the processes that went into the creation of a piece. I use white stoneware and porcelain, fired to cone 7 (~2200°F) in a gas kiln or to cone 10 (~2300°F) in a wood kiln. I have a great appreciation for work that expresses the complexity and skill that went into its making, and so in my work I use processes that expose the viewer to the entirety of the process in order to remove the mystery of the making. I want my viewers to be fully aware of the processes I use, and how the form and the surfaces interact.
I choose to wood fire because of the effect of the firing process on the pieces. Every mark on the surface is made through the process of throwing or firing, telling the story of the creation of the piece. Wood firing highlights the form in a way unlike any other firing method, accentuating and reacting to the throwing lines through flashing, and causing the running and pooling of wood ash on the lines and planes of the surface. Wood firing makes the pieces more vibrant, and makes the organic qualities of the form more noticeable. The pieces in the wood kiln often only have glaze on the interiors to improve their functionality, while also allowing the exteriors to develop through the process of firing.
The glazes I use when I gas fire my pieces were developed specifically to react to the form in a desirable way. The smooth surfaces and cooler colors of my glazes complement the wood-fired surfaces of the pieces. The glazed surfaces have the same color intensity as the wood-fired surface, and both have similar feelings of variability and dialog with the form. My glazes break over the throwing lines, pool in depressions and have a natural color range that highlights the forms in a similar way to the wood-firing. I enjoy the way the variable surfaces interact with the form of each piece, harmonizing with the imperfect forms and the throwing lines in an organic way.