It took years for me to find my place in ceramics. I hand built at an early age. Like most of us, grade school introduced me to the fired piece. High school introduced the wheel. In college pottery and I were dating and became serious. We lived together for years. Later came medical issues. I was forced to take a break from wheel work. I turned my focus to hand building and sculpture. I had found paperclay a few years earlier and decided to put it to the test. Within a short time I realized I wasn’t going back to the potter's wheel. As a thrower I was pretty good, but discovered that my hand building was where I needed to be. I developed my body of work from what I was both familiar, and with what was available to me. I’m very comfortable here. I feel I have unlimited possibilities in front of me.
I grew up on the north east coast, moved to Illinois in my 20’s. I now live with my hubbs and 2 of 4 kids. My studio has always been in my house, which has allowed me to stay home and raise my own kids while pursuing a career in ceramics. I have been an active member of the art community for more than 40 years.
Learning, assisting, teaching and doing. I currently teach workshops, present demonstrations, and participate in small artist run art fairs. My work can also be found at several galleries. I am always on the lookout for my next idea. I am a people watcher and a hidden beauty detector. I keep several sketch books. Good, bad, or dumb ideas go into whichever one I can find. Because I was a thrower for so many years, I have a strong desire to make functional work, however I feel my superpowers are best displayed in my sculptural works. Whether functional or sculptural I enjoy the puzzle each piece presents me. How to approach its construction, use less product and cut down on time and waste. That being said, my art takes a very long time to complete.
The work is made from a cone 6 brown stoneware that I have added about 10% paper pulp. McDonalds drink trays are my preferred source. I will only use discarded ones. Collected by people I know who used them. Underglaze is used on the unfired form. Clear glaze added where desired. Fired to cone 6 oxidation. High temp wire is used for details.
Why I make house teapots
The house. The home. The shelter, the container. The gallery. The safe place. The place you want to escape. The place of love. The place of security. The place of loneliness. The place of terror.
All of these can be true for someone. I have a small obsession with houses. Buildings. Homes. Each house an individual. Reflecting who resides. It could be only temporary. It could be for generations. Do we bend to the house? Or does the house bend to us? The energy. The ghosts. The humans and the animals. The plants. Or lack of. Do we let light in or block it out? Are the residents happy? Are they sad? Are they disillusioned? Are they being hurt? Are they ok? The majority of humans in this world live in a house. Each one holding the contents of those who lived there. Usually they tell us about the residents. Sometimes not so much. There are hoarders and minimalists. Sometimes the inside spills out to the outside. Sometimes they have no relation. A seemingly rough exterior can open to a beautiful interior. A beautiful exterior can house a hell.
Behind closed doors. Unless invited in, by invitation or reported crime it remains a place of privacy. I remember seeing children that on the first visit inside my home, have a very curious spirit and scan the home for all it has. They want in to all closed areas. Upstairs. They want upstairs. What is back here? What is behind this door? I have never forgotten this as I grew. I understand the need to know. When I walk the sidewalks at night I glance at the homes hoping to see a curtain open. Hoping to see it just a little bit. How do we act when we don't know someone is watching? How do we act with the people we live with? Are we different than when we are outside?
Some homes are scary. Some just look that way. Some have rumors. Some have stories or lore. Many homes have accidental altars. The things we collect. The way we arrange them. The way we display. What becomes important and what gets exiled. What do we value and why? Most hold memories. Some are there for appearance only. Others hold purpose. Each item alone or together holds energy. We fill our space with energy. Good. Happy. Sad. Sometimes items in the home cause chaos.
I dream of houses I have lived in. I find halls and doors I have never noticed before. Large garage where there was none before. Second kitchens. Secret entrances. Extra bedrooms. Strange people. Sometimes I dream of houses I have not been to.