Artist Statement

I have always been drawn to the figure and my work continues to explore abstraction and its expressive possibilities.  My process is intuitive. One of my favorite sculptors, Isamu Noguchi, describes his way of working: “Many ideas come while I am working.  I think of myself as being led by unexpected forces. If it isn’t a surprise, there is something wrong…sometimes I don’t even know what I am doing.”

My abstract sculpture was initially fueled by the Stones of Callanish, an ancient stone circle in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and more renowned sites like Stonehenge and Avebury in southern England.  While the current work still draws on these megalithic forms, I am also drawn to integrating other materials – placing iron directly into the clay, using encaustic on the surface, and creating environments out of stone or recycled metal.  Although all of my work begins in porcelain, I am interested in how the “spirit” of a figure shifts as it moves from porcelain, to bronze to glass. My current work also explores surface – from the raw purity of unglazed porcelain to more complex and less predictable shino and raku glazes.  I am also working larger and scaling work up.

The fragmented figure has long been a visual preoccupation for me -- particularly as it relates to the Japanese idea of “zan ketsu no bi” – finding beauty in something missing.  I draw inspiration from Greek Cycladic sculpture, mummified forms, and the work of Stephen De Staebler. He wrote: “You don’t have to transform clay into something else to find beauty.  You have to burn through a lot of pretty work in order to love the gift of clay – its randomness, its tendency to crack and warp. All the things that the perfectionists think are negative qualities are actually positive, if you approach it from a different aesthetic.”

Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland