My interest in natural resources and soil science led to my interest in working with clay as an art form. In the mid seventies, I had the opportunity to work for J.T. Abernathy, a local icon who reformed ceramics from functional craft status to art-for-its-own-sake status. I was exposed there to a wide range of ideas and learned to master the basic skills, and still enjoy talking with J.T. at the Potter’s Guild. This inspired me to complete a master’s degree in fine arts to further explore the possibilities and refine techniques to build on what I was doing in the workshop.
Peter Voulkos, who is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, has been a significant influence. His work is bold and represents a combination of freedom, earthiness and discipline that speak to me. De Kooning, Picasso and Matisse are the painters whose work inspires me most. As much as I like the color and emotional content of the abstract expressionists, I also like the approach of the minimalists, where the emphasis is on the materials in the works rather than the symbolism.
I attempt to combine these ideas from painting with clay and materials in ceramics to portray experiences from the world around us.