Vase with Dancers in Black

Vase with Dancers in Black

 

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I am a Potter.  A Craftsman.  My art comes from a long term relationship between my materials, my tools and my heart.

 My primary material is clay, Red Clay in particular. I became serious about red clay while throwing at a Pottery in Vass NC somewhere around 1980. At that time we were making a lot of large unglazed redware jardinieres, strawberry jars and such. Thick pots made fast from soft clay, not much refinement of shape there but I loved the way that clay felt running through my fingers and the  earthy, almost swampy smell of it. Taking that most common of muds and learning what I can do with it is a process that began for me then and continues now.

    

All of my work is formed on a Potter’s Wheel. Potters have all manner of tools. Sticks, wires, cutters of all kinds, almost anything can be used for something in working with clay. The Wheel however, is another matter. I first sat down at a kick wheel in a high school art class in 1972.  I was hooked right away and have been trying to get good at it ever since. 

The potter’s wheel seems to me very much like a musical instrument in that practice and daily use is necessary to become truly proficient. My pots are the songs that result. Shape is the melody, pattern the lyric. Their rhythm comes out of the continuous flow of work. Some are songs I have played for many years that people still love and want so I continue to make them but always with new variations. Variations that ultimately lead to new patterns which dictate changes in the shapes, bringing it all back once again to the clay spinning on the wheel and a new cycle beginning.

It is very important to me that my work be accessible to people. I don’t make pots for art galleries or museums, I make them for people’s homes. My bowls and platters look best on tables with food being shared by families and friends, planters and vases with someones favorite herb or fresh flowers. Some pieces certainly are more decorative in nature. Those are an expression of my joy in the process that hopefully becomes a part of someones day to day life.