The foundation of my work is the clay.
I enjoy intimacy with my materials. I’ve always mixed my clay from raw ingredients rather than rely on commercially blended clay bodies. Each clay has a personality – bright or somber, critical or forgiving, rugged or refined. Choices made at this stage are crucial; they resonate through forming, drying, decorating and firing.
I favor clays that fire to warm earth tones and bear marks of their interaction with fire. Good clay bodies record elemental stories.
Locally prospected materials play a large role in the clays and glazes I currently use. Some materials I dig in the wild, while others come from industrial sources like brick manufacturers.
This step takes a lot of time, effort and care, and not every experiment returns useful, replicable results. Still, I value the opportunity to explore Colorado, see some new places, meet some new people. It connects my work to a geographical place via the literal colors and textures of home. And I love sharing each piece’s story!
So, I’m always testing.
Curiosity drives a conversation with materials that always keeps me engaged, balancing wild aesthetics with functional concerns. Numerically-coded ID stamps help me make sense of a dizzying array of clays and slips.
Recently, some of my favorite pieces pair light-burning clays with dark-burning slip coatings (or vice-versa), resulting in intense color and visual depth. Sparse decoration with slip allows me to break up the flame-etched surface with pattern and contrast. And in wood and soda kilns, there is a give-and-take with the flows of atmospheric surface, which alter or obliterate the slipwork.