Why large vessels?
I am drawn to good large pots by their animate presence and spiritual gravity. Making them is my quest to understand their mysteries — how scale, curve and volume together resonate so strongly in us. Making them is also an expression of my longing to share the inspiration, awe, tranquility, and joy that they evoke in me.
Ancient sources revisited
The silhouettes and material of my pieces recall millennia of utilitarian vessel-making, while their scale and sensuous curves suggest organic and human sculptural form. I seek to unite the spirit and vigor of ancient sources with our own contemporary sensibility.
How they are made
I build large pieces in many stages. Although I work on a potter’s wheel, my approach is essentially sculptural: Beginning with a rough idea of scale and mood, the details of form and decoration arise through an improvisational dance that unfolds section by section as the piece finds its way to completion.
Most of my pieces are unglazed, but may be covered with a thin layer of slip to achieve different tones that arise from iron and other minerals in the clay. After many days of building and a week or more of drying, I load the vessels into my large, custom-built kiln, bring them to 2300ºF in a day-long firing, and then allow them to slowly cool over three days.
Each time I open the kiln, I have the thrill of seeing how (and if!) they fared through extreme stresses of transformation by fire.