About the artist and the work . . .
I like to make art in clay, transforming it into big, richly colored and textured pots: pots informed by ten years living in the Middle East. There I found myself drawn off the tourist track, randomly nosing around ancient sites, soaking up the atmosphere – deeply sensing gestures and echoes of artists and artisans.
The dusty, monumental environs of Baalbeck, Palmyra, Petra, Jerash, Madain Saleh fired my imagination and imbue my work. Enchanted by shapes, textures and surfaces of ancient art and artifacts, my intention is to honor and manifest the spirit of a rich artistic history.
Ancient civilizationsNow I’m back in California, inspired by what I saw there, still metaphorically nosing around those places. I want my pots to look like they were freshly excavated, the product of an unknown but very old desert civilization. These pieces are substantial and authoritative. They are carved and mutilated, covered with scraffito, like the marks of the earth, heavily textured, decorated with deep carbon stains and rich gold lusters.
Palestine and other sourcesMany are named after little Arab villages of the land of Palestine. (I want to remember that these are places where Arabs have lived for centuries, and will hopefully continue to live for centuries longer.) Some others show literal imagery – dancers, performance art, chairs, a cat, a female form, even an ice cream cone capriciously created on a hot California afternoon!
Drawing and painting on clayI also create plates and platters. (My capstone project for my BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art was comprised of 20 plates with imagery inspired by painters such as de Chirico, Cimabue, and others.) I form them over a hump mold and then throw a foot; they are meant to hang on a wall. I use plates as a round canvas to allow paintings and drawings in slips, glazes, underglazes and stains.
Little urgesThe plates and platters tend to follow inner promptings and urges and give me a space to express narrative ideas about the world. As in the pots, I find that many of these little urges direct me back to the Middle East and the ancient world. Some are comments on the present day politics of the area; others express my notions about the female form and its expression in classical sculpture. Another source of visual interest is Malcolm, the feral cat we adopted in Lebanon.
Where I work
I have a beautiful light-filled studio in the historic Panama Pottery building on 24th Street in Sacramento. Many of my pieces are displayed there and are for sale.
How I work
My pieces use both white body sculpture clay and porcelain, depending on what I’m looking for. The pots are all fired to stoneware temperatures (cone six) in an oxidation electric kiln.
One technique I'm really excited about is drawing on the clay body using underglaze chalks and pencils; I’m experimenting with developing my own underglaze chalks to improve the hue intensity.
Thank you for looking!
Please contact me if you're interested in purchasing a specific piece.
I hope you enjoy looking at this body of work, which is constantly evolving as I listen to my whispering muse and follow little urgings. I’d suggest that you check back often to see the latest!