Clay is a center in my life. I am involved with it in one way or another almost every day. Through it I express my love for the natural world and its continuous beauty. I am fortunate to make my living as an artist, sharing my visions in a medium to which I feel deeply connected.
Year after year clay has pushed my artistry and brought me further into its depths. And I continue to learn to express myself through clay. By putting my hands to it each day, I am able to fulfill a need to create from, and be in touch with, the earth.
I start each work day with Taiwanese tea brewed Gong-fu style in an Yixing teapot. Sipping it, I listen to the birds and enjoy natural wonders. This and other connections to nature are expressed and shared in my works.
Clay found me in 1996 when I took a hobby pottery class to find a new creative outlet and bring more balance to a busy corporate career. I expected to simply discover an enjoyable pastime. Instead, clay dug its way into my very core. I began Muddy Paws Pottery, a functional pottery production business, in effort to follow clay's calling and to bring a new spirit and satisfaction to my work life. At present I dedicate all of my studio time to creating trompe l'oeil sculptures.
I have a BA in communication from Ithaca College, where I also studied art history in Ithaca and London. My primary applied art training came in the form of two artist residencies studying with trompe l'oeil master Ah Leon and other masters in Taiwan. Both were funded in part by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grants.
My work is based in the Yixing tradition. My trompe l'oeil teapots, vessels and sculptures are part of the path I am traveling as I continue to develop my own artistic voice.
I have contributed work to over 65 exhibitions and have been awarded and exhibited in museums and galleries across the country. Pieces have appeared on the covers of AmericanStyle and Pottery Making Illustrated, and in the pages of Ceramics Monthly, NICHE, Clay Times, The Crafts Report, and Ceramic Art (Taiwan), as well as in several books and calendars on ceramic art. I have participated in The Smithsonian Craft Show and SOFA Chicago, and given demonstrations, workshops and presentations in the USA, Canada and Taiwan.
My work is included
in permanent collections including the Carnegie Museum, The Everson Museum
The purity of nature and the Asian art aesthetic have always inspired me and I find clay the ideal medium for reflecting both.
Through my ceramic trompe l'oeil sculptures I challenge the viewer with both the nature of the material and the messages within. Whether wheel-thrown or hand-built, these forms are completely hand carved and transformed to mimic weathered logs and birch trees-the angels of the forest.
I strive to show how nature maintains its splendors through tenacity and triumph of existence despite the disregard we humans show her. I appreciate how ceramic mirrors the environment's fragility and durability-easily damaged if disrespected and yet invincible in its inherent beauty.
Each piece I create is a relationship-the story of shared discovery. The clay and I make the journey together through the tension of disagreement and the harmony of accord. The final form-the result of our conversation-has a life all its own.
I strive for the life in each creation to foster awareness and influence viewer behavior toward the environment. My hope is that at least some will acquire a new appreciation and way of seeing and thus choose to walk with softer steps.
Last Updated: January 24, 2013
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