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I make ceramic sculptures that are shaped by the interplay of masses and voids. Projection and recession, light and shadow, substance and impression are the subject matter of my work. The shapes are the players, intersecting, extending, colliding or passing through / over / under / beyond one another to command space. Through the simplicity of clay cylinders, cones, planes and edges, I can indulge a compulsion to experience both inside and outside spaces. On some occasions, references to the human body are present. Positions of human figures found in Greek and Buddhist temple pediments and friezes intrigue me: the dynamics of their composition, narrative and scale are charged as a result of their placement within defined architectural spaces. The rich subtleties and contrasts of winter colors observed in Allegany County are sources for glaze colors: charcoal blacks, slate blue/grays, deep rusts and warm tans. Color and texture are intended to create an ambiguity about surface and touch. Although the fired, glaze surface appears soft, it is hard and feels like sandpaper. This visual/tactile aspect of the surface, combined with light and shadow, trigger visual illusions and spatial ambiguities. My research as an artist and teacher is not singular nor can it be easily defined in linear terms or simple formats. It is a slimy, laminated, organic and most often semi-opaque pursuit as my interests are diverse and seemingly unconnected. Paying attention and playing with the possibilities that the dots, lines and layers are connectable and interchangeable in time and space might describe my engagement and activities as artist and teacher. From another vantage point, I see myself as an instigator and maker, a catalyst for creating collision courses and triggering chains of events – sometimes with ceramic material and processes, sometimes with occasions and facilities that bring people and opportunities together. Observation is always essential.
Clay is the medium for the sculptures; all pieces are hollow and slab-constructed, using the basic procedures of scoring and reinforcing seams. Slabs are made on a Brent slab roller. The clay slabs are wrapped around cardboard tubes of various diameters to shape the clay cylinders. Cone shapes are made freehand from flat slabs. Sculptures are bisque fired to cone 04 (approximately 1950° F). The first glaze is applied with a sponge to the bisqued piece and refired to the same temperature. The finished surface of the fired first glaze has a soft, satin finish. A second glaze is sprayed on top of the fired satin glaze. The piece is fired again to cone 08 (approximately 1725° F). The finished surface of the fired second glaze is comparable to 220 grit sandpaper.