“My work is created in cycles comprised of building, glazing and firing. I am always researching new ideas for my work in order to improve the creative flow and process. These newfound techniques allow me to arrive at a unique interaction with each piece.”
Forming: Construction begins with a concept drawing; this is especially helpful when beginning a new series or form. Most of my work starts with a flat slab of clay. The slab is then manipulated in a variety of ways.
Over the years, I have accumulated a vast array of tools. They range from tiny hand tools to large-scale metal or wood devices that may be utilized in the work process. These tools are secondary to the human hand in the creation process but are essential to my work.
Each piece is signed and impressed with my personal stamp or “chop”.
Bisque Firing: Following the construction phase and after the pieces have dried, they are loaded into a large computer-controlled kiln. Bisque firing takes 12-14 hours to reach a temperature of 1832 degrees. It takes another 24 hours for the kiln to cool down. The pieces are then prepped for the glazing process.
Slip work and Glazing: The techniques of resist and brush application are used before any glazing can be applied. A palette of oxide colorants are added to a clay base for the slips and glazes. I formulate my own slips and glazes from raw materials. Doing this allows me better control of their properties. Application is by means of precise brushwork, latex resists and spraying. The glazes are applied in several layers to create the look I want for that particular piece.
Glaze Firing: After a piece has been glazed, it is then returned to the kiln to be fired slowly to 2232 degrees. This high temperature firing makes the clay body dense or stone-like, hence the term “stoneware”. The firing takes about 16 hours to complete. The kiln is cooled enough to unload the next day. Each piece is inspected, polished and prepped for the client.
This whole process takes several weeks of work. The results are a combination of various factors, planned and sometimes unplanned.
- La Meridiana International School of Ceramic Art – Certaldo, Italy 2013, 2015 with Ellen Shankin
- La Meridiana International School of Ceramic Art – Certaldo, Italy 2008, 2010 with Tony Clennel
- Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas 2011