|Vasefinder International 2011|
Keene, New York, USA
Title: Hard to please #1
Year of Creation: 2010
Glaze: Slips and thin, matte cover glaze
Clay Body: Stoneware
Dimensions: Height 20 inches, Width 11 inches
Artist's Statement: I grew up in a consumer culture, knowing nothing about clay. Praised for getting good grades, I went on and on in school ... into a difficult career that was no fun at all.
The best of me remained on the back-burner until my early 40's when I had a spiritual awakening. I had a powerful yearning for some sort of creative life. I needed a new direction. At precisely that point in time, a friend gave me a bag of moist clay. This gift meant nothing special to me. I had no idea what to do with this stuff. But when I finally got around to playing with this clay months later, I woke up. Ideas and questions started flowing. I was soon making pinch-pots every day, dreaming about pots, waking every morning with ideas for new pots. I started educating myself and practicing. As the years passed, the process of tuning my eye to visual information and deciding what to do with clay has incrementally helped me to understand my life and become myself.
I've been moved by a rich variety artwork and patterns in nature, have studied all sorts of technical information, have adopted ideas and ways of working from many sources. I am grateful for all these inputs. However, there is no culture or ceramic tradition that I claim as my own, no individual that I consciously emulate. I have no desire to follow any well-worn path.
I do a certain amount impersonal, functional work that helps me maintain my skills and pay the bills. I enjoy experimentation with new ideas and techniques. I often use clay to make personal statements ... which can be sweet, playful, sensuous, sober, harsh, or whatever my state of mind may be that day. I want all my work to have presence, gesture, and freshness. It need not be pretty, nice, or refined.
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