Artist Statement & Bio
I began working with clay years ago while studying at the College of the Atlantic on the Maine coast. Further studies in ceramics and art took me to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and the University of New Hampshire where I received a BA in Studio Art. I received a teaching certificate in Art Education from the University of Montana.
My journey with clay has never been limited to a single way of working. I love to throw on the wheel and to hand build forms. I have made ceramic jewelry, three-dimensional tiles, and large ceramic sculpture. But no matter what form my work takes, similar themes and images have always permeated my work and they are always connected to the daily life that I live as well as the dreams and imaginative life given shape in the studio.
I have always lived in rural areas and animal imagery has been an ongoing theme in my work. As a family, we loved to hike and be out on the water. Spending time in the mountains of Northwest Montana gave me an abiding respect and affinity for the creatures who live there.
I have a deep love of story telling and my work has always had a strong decorative and narrative element. Creating a ceramic form is often just the starting point for me. I have always painted images and designs, or incorporated three dimensional figures and animals into my bowls, mugs, dishes, tiles and platters. The blank interior of a large bowl is like a lovely curved canvas for me, just waiting for imagery, story, and perhaps even words.
I often begin my bowls and sculptures with a person, a dream, or a memory in mind. The painting evolves as I work in my studio into something more universal that will not only decorate a form, but will also welcome the future owner of the piece into a world of color, imagination, and celebration.
The tiles have evolved slowly over time. Tilebyfire (the name of the tile company) began as a joint effort between three friends; myself, Walker Davis and Sally Askevold. The first tiles were created when a local ceramic store went out of business and we were invited to take whatever we wanted from a large inventory of plaster molds used in the pouring of greenware. We manipulate the images which are press molded and then combine them with elements that are hand formed. The finished tiles are a result of this process. The possibilities are endless.