I get lost in each piece that I make. When I’m throwing a piece nothing is more important than the gesture of the form. When I’m decorating the form, the mark of the brush carries the weight of the world. While the world fades away, I think about someone using the piece over time and continuously discovering different nuanced aspects of the form and surface. The movement of the throwing line, the boldness of a brushstroke or the juxtaposition of the raw clay and the gloss of the glaze. When a kiln is unloaded and rows of pots are lined up, it might look like they are simply multiples of a form. But when I am making them, the curve and movement of each piece is obsessed over. And after they are fired, each piece is completely one of a kind to me. The flow of the flame on the surface of the pot and the way that the subtitles of the form are enhanced by the firing process always inspires me.
I fell in love with clay in college at Earlham College. One of the things that drew me in so instantly with clay is that we mixed clay by hands, threw on the wheel, read Bernard Leach and fired kilns all in the first 2 weeks of class. This is also the thing that keeps me hooked. Design, chemistry, history, physics, manual labor, writing. I am fully engaged, challenged and continually excited by my craft.
I spend my days making pots in my studio at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago and writing about clay on my blog. Being a potter can be quite a solitary endeavor, but I have found myself working in a vibrant community of potters at Lillstreet Studios. There is always someone around when you’re having a trouble with a kiln, when you’re a little short on a glaze material or you’re in need of an impromptu critique. My clay community has further expanded since I’ve discovered an incredible international community of ceramic artists through my blog.