The work I do is functionally based. It's important for me to know that the objects I make can be used and interacted with. The concept of functionality seems to make things more accessible and less sacred which is important since the material used is nothing more than a type of mud from the ground. Since my pieces are meant to be touched and used the tactile quality of the objects is what I'm currently concentrating on. I want the clay to look like it is bulging and folding in on itself. I manipulate the surface of the clay by stretching the form from the inside while creasing it from the outside producing an asymmetrical balance to the objects. This helps give a more human quality and another way to relate to the piece. It also makes it more gestural and less rigid in appearance.I also hope that the sense of "play" is evident in my work. Clay is such a forgiving and fun medium to use that it's difficult to get too uptight about working with it. The limitations of clay like cracking, or slumping, or twisting stop being problems if you can incorporate them into your work. I want the clay medium to translate through the pieces I make; I don't want to disguise it by fussing over it or refining the surface too much. I want it to seem earthy and handmade. That's the thrill of making pottery and why I continue enjoying it.
Analyzing ones own work is like reading a recipe; it’s not very interesting material but it sure tells you a whole lot about what the meal is going to be like.My work is about making things so that I feel passionate about them. This is different then making things that I love because I don’t generally love vases or teapots or bowls. I can appreciate them and use them but the form itself does not instill the qualities that cause me to cherish them. What I do love is the idea of creating something that’s functional; I love my wife and three daughters; I love things that are easy on the eyes; I love clean socks; and I love a cereal with a high sugar content and colorful marshmallows.To make something in a way that lets you bestow a deep concern about it and invites you to care for it is what elevates your work into an art. If you can transmit that feeling to others then it is considered good art.The large vases I’ve recently made are filled with many of the things that I’ve mentioned above. They are decorated with the drawings my daughters had made for me and every time I look at those images on the vases I can sense the innocence and light heartedness that helped create these pictures. The intensity of the colors and the simplification of elements give it the look of crayons on paper. These pictures are a five-year-old interpretation of the pictorials found on ancient Roman and Greek vessels so it seems natural to use them as the basis for the ceramic forms.My double walled jugs are the canvases for me to carve images of my childhood onto. I grew up in Upstate New York in a very small rural town where most of the kids in your class were related and the air smelled of manure most of the year. Unlike the vases with my daughters’ drawings these vessels are my own interpretation of my surroundings as a child. They depict the distressed and never ending fences that seemed to encompass the pastures as well as the boundary marker trees and the houses that always seemed like islands. The coloration of these relief’s are faded and washed out just like my memories are getting.It’s difficult for me to judge the quality of this work objectively. What I do hope that others see is the feelings and care I felt while making them.
The ceramic pieces I’ve been making lately are completely different then what I normal produce. My standard work is strictly functional pieces that I’ll produce over and over. There is definitely a comfort in the fact that these functional pieces can be aesthetically enjoyed as well as utilized daily.The large scale, double walled sculptures that are represented here required a totally different mind-set. They are based on childhood memories of my fairly rural upbringing. The lack of functionality forces the issue of the vessel being created for the sole purpose of display. This is emphasized by the small opening created by throwing a double wall and then enclosing it. The surface is highly textured creating deep shadows for emphasis and contrast. The light patina of stains and the wax sealer gives a subtle tone and sheen.These vessels were greatly influence by Marc Chagall’s paintings where imagery is combined and represented through the filter of memories and time.