Current/Recent Work

My current work includes a mix of slab-built boxes and pouring vessels and large coil-built jars. The pitchers and teapots are inspired by old industrial pouring and storage containers for oil, gasoline, and water, although I pick and choose from details and invent my own forms.  I especially enjoy adding mixed-media components such as handles and closure devices after the firing. For information on sources of inspiration and content, please read my artist’s statement and biography.

Impressed patterns and symbols are important in my current work, and all impressions are created with bisque-stamps and rollers that I make.  Thirty years ago I decided against using appropriated pattern and texture applied with commercially-made stamps or pattern/texture mats.  I’ve been making bisque stamps and rollers ever since.  I draw inspiration for patterns and symbols from many sources, and adapt them to suit my needs.  If you are interested in this process, see my handout on “Making and Using Bisque Stamps and Rollers.”

The “Post-Industrial Reliquary,” “Canopic Jar” series, and the “Odin, Vili, and Ve” triptych are inspired by traditional vessel forms sealed temporarily or permanently, such as cinerary urns, time capsules, Egyptian canopic jars, ossuaries, etc.  Unlabeled covered vessels inherently carry a sense of mystery, because we are uncertain of their contents or purpose.  I like the idea of a vessel that grabs your attention with form, surface, and post-firing mixed-media additions, but leaves you guessing as to contents and purpose.  Yes, there is something inside these vessels. No, I won’t tell what.

Scroll down below the images for technical information. Click on thumbnails to see a larger image.  Once you’ve enlarged the image, scrolling works best with the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard.

All of the forms pictured above are coil- or slab-built from cone-6 or cone-10 stoneware claybodies.  During my career at the Appalachian Center for Craft I mix my claybodies from commercially-available raw materials.  Now I am using mixed claybodies from Starworks in Star, North Carolina.  As identified on individual images, the work is fired to either cone-6 or cone-10 in a cross-draft gas soda kiln, except for the “Post-Industrial Reliquary,” reduction fired to cone-10 in a downdraft gas kiln. I like the look and feel of soda-fired clay, but also appreciate what the atmosphere does to certain glazes. I pick glazes with that in mind, and before glazing I apply wax-resist selectively to leave certain areas unglazed, allowing the soda to affect the bare clay.

The bolts, washers, and shackles on the “Post Industrial Reliquary” are stainless steel heated to 1800°F in an electric test kiln to discolor the metal. The brass acorn nuts were patinaed with a propane torch.  On the “Canopic Jars”  and “Triptych: Odin, Vili & Ve,” the lids are semi-permanently anchored in place with 900-pound-test stainless steel shark-leader cable, swaged with the correct swaging tool and compression sleeves.  In other words, in order to remove the lids on those vessels, the cables must be cut.  The red sealant on the cable ends is Plasti-Dip.

Please email me if you have questions about any of the work.