My work consists primarily of wheel thrown functional stoneware. For me, the fun is in the forming of the vessel. I find the tactile feeling of the clay in my hands as it passes through my fingers reassuring and relaxing. When I’m finished throwing a pot or have just removed it from the wheel, for me at least, it is at the pinnacle of it's beauty. It feels alive and still full of limitless possibilities. As it goes from wet to dry, some of that vitality evaporates as well. The application of a glaze layer is an attempt to recapture some of that initial beauty.
Over the years I have experimented in a variety of firing temperatures and techniques. But one technique I avoided all of those years was crystalline glazing. I had convinced myself that it was gimmicky or too fussy. I had read about it’s fickleness and high rate of failure, after all pottery of any type is far from a given, failure can occur at every stage of the process, why invite more unpredictability? I think I initially started experimenting just to gain some insight and cross it off the list and move on. But there is something about the almost random nature of crystal formation that appeals to me.
The process is as follows: As the temperature of glaze is increased, all the components begin to melt together. When the glaze is at the proper temperature, “seeds” begin to form in it. As the glaze reaches its maximum temperature, it begins to flow and many of the seeds dissolve. The kiln temperature is then lowered. When the temperature reaches the correct range the remaining seeds, acting somewhat like magnets, attract appropriate minerals in the glaze and the crystals grow on the seeds. The longer the temperature is held the larger the crystals grow. I am not a chemist, my approach is more akin to a baker following recipes from others and tweaking them to see what will happen. When everything works, it can result in a pot that meets, or in rare instances exceeds, the beauty of that pot when it was first created.
Sometime around 1998 I made a decision to get back into ceramics after a ten year hiatus. I loved ceramics in college (Tyler School of Art) and took as many elective classes as my schedule would allow, but I just didn’t see it as a viable career path. In addition to ceramics, I studied photography. But after moving to New York City, and working as a photographer, I began to feel the need to knead. I began by renting shelf space at a small pottery studio in my Chelsea neighborhood. Soon after, I was a member of the faculty, and not long after, I became part owner. None of this was according to a cohesive plan, it just felt right and things just fell into place. After having a child in 2003, we moved from NYC to Katonah, NY, where I teach ceramics and make pottery full-time. While I am interested in all facets of ceramics, my work mainly consists of wheel-thrown, functional, stoneware.
- I have served as director of The Clay Education Center in New Jersey, giving workshops in wheel-throwing, raku, and making clay musical instruments. As director, I coordinated visiting artists from around the country.
- I also served as co-owner/teacher at LaMano Pottery, NYC, and I have taught at numerous craft centers in the area including: The Craft Students League in NYC, Rye Arts Center in Rye, NY, The Art School at Old Church, in NJ, and New Jersey City University.
- Currently I am on the faculty of The Katonah Art Center, Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, and Manhattanville College.
- Contact me through this site if you're interested in purchasing or viewing my work.