Most if not all of what I've shared thus far is through social media and primarily includes little stories or announcements here and there about random instances and upcoming shows or sales. I'm excited to now have another platform to share more about my process and to include images and writing about how and why I do what I do. And I'm going to start with a story about just that - why.
Why I Make What I Make
I think we are all made to seek peace. I know I do. Growing up, I quickly learned that nature was a wonderfully strong and raw way to experience peace. One of the most impactful experiences of peace in nature from my upbringing occurred each year during our annual trips to my grandparents farmland. I can vividly remember waking up each day and looking out the window to see a soft dew covering the fields of grass glistening in the dim morning light. The wind starting to blow the tall reeds, waking them up for the day ahead. And then at the close of each day, looking out over the pastures and through the trees to the sunset - the warm light picking up the dust in the air as it settled down from cars who passed by on the dirt road. Crickets beginning to chirp, and quiet, calm, peace.
While I was just beginning to sort out an aesthetic and mark making for my pottery that felt real and authentic to who I am, this imagery of peaceful nature steadily began recurring on the surfaces of my work. I avoided covering surfaces with glaze, because I was drawn to exterior surfaces that laid bare to the raw clay. I was drawn to colors and textures that occur frequently in nature - browns, greens, yellows, and rusty reds and oranges. And my hand tended to draw recurring lines and patterns, but organically, so as far as the eye can tell, each stroke remained individually unique. Something we see in nature everywhere.
But I didn’t necessarily tell myself, “Draw nature.”, which may have led to a more literal illustration of trees and flowers, etc. No, it was more of a gradual process of me figuring out a mark making that felt natural and authentic and good. It took me a while to realize and put into words, but I eventually realized that I was seeking, through my aesthetic, the same sense of peace and calm that those experiences in nature have always given me.
Today I aim for others to find peaceful moments in my work as well. You may encounter one of my mugs during your first cup of coffee in the morning or a cup while enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day. I hope to bring peace into the everyday lives of those who use my work. Pottery is very practical and functional, and many times this quality can cause pottery to be seen as just that, and therefore less of an art or aesthetic experience. And although there is a sweet intimacy about pottery due to its functional quality, I don’t want to stop there. I want the aesthetics of my work to visually bring a sense of peace and positivity to its users as well as its usefulness — making each piece just as enjoyable to the eye as it is to the hand. In this way, I hope to bring more vibrancy to the lives of those who use my pottery and inspire them to create beauty and peace in their own everyday experiences.