Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.” I always enjoyed working with patterns. As a child, I sewed clothes for my dolls and, as I got older, made my own clothes. I especially enjoyed playing with all the colors and patterns in the materials that were available. As life progressed, I enjoyed the quilting process and made quilts for my children and now grandchildren. I loved to mix and match color and patterns, and this similar process inspires me every morning using clay and the wheel. I throw a vessel form, and use the clay as my template. Sometimes, I break my form, play with texture and color, decorating each shard. I try to make interesting and compatible surfaces that dance and complement each other, making for a blend of expected and unexpected play upon the surface. They are fired in a saggar and reassembled after cooling. The final result, fragments of light, dark, and color bound by the original ceramic form, captivate the eye.
The inspiration for the clay objects I create also comes from my enduring interest in Native American pottery. I love the polished surfaces produced without any glaze. I have visited the Pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona and marveled at the beautiful landscape of the western states. My work echoes these influences. I see most of my work as sculptural rather than functional. I throw large open bowls and use them as a canvas. I collect many different natural combustible materials and, prior to firing, place them in and around my work. The fire and materials dance upon the clay and leave exciting random marks. The patterns left by the process invoke the fiery chaos of nature, contrasted with the calm and serene patterns reminiscent of cloudy skyscapes and geologic formations.
Each of my pieces is one of a kind. Experimentation and risk taking is a large part of my process. Getting one successful piece out of many keeps me coming back and trying again.