The things that influence me pertain to the natural world. My organic forms, warm colors and lively imagery feel authentic and personal. Old painted wood and mossy rocks inspire my surfaces. Birds are the imagery I most prefer to reference with their fragility, innocence and whimsy. I think my experience as a field guide in South Africa with a specialty in birds is the prominent theme of my work. Other influences include overseas travel to third world countries and the pottery of indigenous people. I work intuitively; letting things that are important to me at any given time find their way into the work.
My forms are created using slabs with wheel thrown and hand-built molds. When the pieces are leather hard they are painted with slips and fritted stains. They are finished with a variety of cone 04 clear glazes. All work is food safe, though not ideal for the microwave.
Last night the lightening bugs (fireflys to you more refined folks) put on an amazing show. I am grumpy, post back surgey and now recovering from a stomach ulcer, I take Charlotte out last thing at night in a deep funk. "Hurry up Charlotte" I say in my impatient self pitied voice. And then I look around and my feet start moving. Forgotten is my stomach, the long boring days in bed, my impatience to be asleep and this day over, for the trees are full to bursting with dynamic green lights flashing in a rhythum only nature can create. Back into the house I grab my boots, turn out all the lights and head out slowly into the dark night. There is no moon yet and the stars are as dazzling as the lightening bugs.
Last summer I thought they were shooting stars at first, they are so high in the trees. I grew up catching these bugs as a child. An innocent and thrilling game to chase the blinking green light through the yard, catch the bug to quickly set it free to chase another. But here there are so many and they are so high and thick. It reminds me of phosphorescence in the sea.
As I walk up the dark mountain I am mesmerized out of my self pity and out of my funk for a few minutes, flooded with childhood memories and filled with awe. I really live here. I get to share this planet with these trees and these amazing insects.
Briefly I hear something I think is thunder. But the skies are clear. As my mind works to identify the sound, it occurs to me it could have been a growl. I know there is a bobcat here sometimes and I suspect a bear due to recent damage to my birdfeeder. I tell myself Charlotte has not reacted, it can't really be anything. It's so deliciously dark. It could even be a mountain lion, but that would be way too lucky. I stand listening for 10 minutes enjoying the light show and wondering if I really heard anything at all. In the end just the idea there could be something out there made it even more special. Who wouldn't want to be out on a dark mountain with a bear or a lion? Just knowing it's a possibility keeps life exciting here.