On a past trip to India, I met with a potter in a very small rural village, who makes water vessels (among other things) for his entire commmunity.
By pounding and shaping a large piece of clay with no electricity or potters wheel like anything we use today, he forms a beautiful vessel, firing it in the ground with smoldering smoke for several days, until the vessel is ‘baked’ and ready for the villagers. My pots are much easier to make as I use a wheel rotating hundreds of time per minute to assist me. – My pottery would sure look different if I had to make them like him!
Does travel ever help to give one perspective!!!
My styles have many faces;
NAKEN LADIES – which celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. I was asked many years ago to create some pottery for International Womens Day. Although I take this event very seriously, I don’t tend to take myself all that seriously, and thus, these happy, naive like doodles of naked women, arms outstretched in celebration we born.
CARNIVAL AND CIRQUE – are the pots with bold colourful strips and patterns, reminding me of the big top of the cirque de soliel. This is a wildly popular series for me with greens and purples, gold and yellow, blue and teal…. lots of little black dots round these pots out. The fiddlehead Butter Dish and Salt Shakers are a new addition in this series and I am just loving them soooooooooooo much. I hope you do to.
DOTTY SPOTTY POTTY – These are fun and rather minimalist for me. Most people think these are balloons adorning the pottery – hmmmmm….. Could be… or, maybe they are a bunch of gumballs on strings. What do you think they are?
FISHY WISHY – Need I say more. Fish among the seawead just outside my studio. The ocean is teaming with all kinds of marine life. There has got to be a fish or two that look like these in there.
GARDEN GATE – The spirals that are found on this pottery series reminds me of iron garden gates, with fillegreed iron patterning framed in wood or more iron. The bold framework in various colours really helps to define the negative space – which I then fill with dots and sprials. – As Harry Chapin sang… All my lifes a circle.
DANCING TULIP which remind me of the abundance of life on the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. This rainforest zone, means that things grow… EVERYTHING grows. The flowers start coming out in January/February and the trees are perfect places for eagles to get a really great view of life below. Gardening a very serious art form here in the Comox Valley and as a potter, my pottery is a little bit of a ’tilt of my hat’ to those amazing gardeners – (including my own partner.)
WALK IN THE WOODS is my wood fired series. The ash dances around the pots with the flame in the wood fired kiln over a 3 day period. The kiln is stoked continuously for the 3 day period and then about a week later, the pots are cool enough to unpack the kiln. This is a community event with many potters and many pots.
FUSION is a series of blending many swatches of colour with big brush strokes, while Desert Moon, , and Midnight Forest are all quiet, rich with hues of blues and dark green, Rusts and golden browns are the predominant colour. I often scratch through one colour on the pot to reveal another colour beneath ( scrafitto), even if the colour difference is subtle, it is a reminder, that there is always something which lies beneath the surface. These pots ask of the viewer to take time, to touch and to hold the pot, to see the many complex layers that all there, albeit, quiet and subtle and not completely obvious on first glance. This is akin to my personal growth and self exploration, which is not about the loud vivatious, cheerful look of the white series of doodled pots, but an understanding that we as humans, are much more complex and if we allow others in, or allow ourselves the time and space needed, we can uncover some of what lies beneath the masks we often choose or by some default, tend to wear. This series ranges in colour.
My Smoke Fired and Modern Primitives reflect the quiet, introspective part of me. There is something fascinating to me about the ability to learn of past civilizations – how they lived, where they lived, what they did, etc. by finding shards of pottery in excavation sites. Pottery is of the earth and uses elements from the earth to create both articles of beauty and function. I guess this is why I love the smoke fired pieces… In the process of making them, I imagine a more primitive time, and quieter time, and a more gentle time.
I make pottery for personal enjoyment, both decorative and functional ware, – cone 6 (meaning it get’s really hard and is more durable than earthenware).
Perhaps you too will have the opportunity to get your hands on some wet clay soon and play… play…. play!