“Be like the bird who, halting in his flight, on limb too slight, feels it give way beneath him. Yet sings, knowing he hath wings.” Words to live by, Victor Hugo
1. I love all things coconut.
2. During the summer months I'm the cook at a fishing lodge in Alaska.
3. In 1999 I "quit" clay and moved to the Virgin Islands, where the first person I met was a potter. I quickly fell off that wagon, started making pots again, and eventually came back stateside to get my Masters in ceramics!
4. "Be like the bird who, halting in his flight, on limb too slight, feels it give way beneath him. Yet sings, knowing he hath wings." Words to live by, Victor Hugo
What got you started crafting?
It all started in my past life during the late Roman era......
What is your source of inspiration?
Oh, boy! Decorative arts of many cultures, especially China (I grew up in Hong Kong and was surrounded by that rich decorative tradition through furniture, pottery, metal wares, cloisonne, silk fabrics). Patterns found in nature, the absentminded, carefree doodling of kids, and COLOR. I love the practicality of pottery, but also the way a good handmade pot has a presence that can elevate a mundane event, like your morning cup of coffee, into something intentional, reflective. I'm inspired by the connection I have with people who enjoy using my pots. I'm inspired by the process of soda firing, and the fine line between a serendipitous beauty and a disappointing dud.
What have you made recently?
Well, I haven't fired this yet, but it's a red earthenware set of five tumblers on a long serving tray, and I'm calling it "Fifth Wheel Friendly" as a working title. The cups were thrown and slightly altered, and they were dipped in white slip and then decorated with underglazes and a design carved through. The design of the tray coordinates with that of the cups. I have been layering low fire glazes to get some movement on the surface that I sometimes feel is lacking at the lower temperatures. The colors of this set are chartreuse, goldenrod yellow, deep turquoise, terracotta and white. Part of the pattern references palm leaves. I came up with this idea after recently choosing not to join friends (two married couples) who were going out because I didn't want to be "the fifth wheel." (I know: lame, I should have gone....but hey, now I have this cool idea to play with.)
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell in a few galleries, on Etsy and by commission.
The galleries are:
Red Lodge Clay Center, Red Lodge, MT
The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT
Glasgow Goodkind Gallery, Glasgow, MT
The Maverick Potter, Salida, CO
Smicksburg Pottery, Smicksburg, PA
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
To me, making things by hand is so fundamental, the question is too huge. I feel it is grounding, and in spite of current trends that don't appear to be reversing anytime soon, I feel making things with your hands is a very dignified thing to do. I believe there is an ineffable quality to handmade things, whether functional, edible, adornments, whatever, that affirms our interconnectedness, not only between maker and recipient, but between ourselves and the materials, and by extension, the world at large. It is a real time, tangible, valuable experience to make and to use handmade items. We may have all kinds of technologies that make handmade things seem anachronistic, but we are still flesh and blood, and I feel we need them in our lives.