As a ceramic artist, craftsman, and devoted fisherman, my creative process begins, not in the studio, but on the river.
The contemplative time I spend fishing inspires my work, reflecting the colors and shapes of the fish I catch and release, and their environment. I am guided by memories of my interactions with the air, wind, water, light, and the magnificent creatures that live in the water, and briefly, at the end of my line.
My great passions in nature are water, color, fire, and clay. Each element invokes joy and excitement in me, but I also discover a deeper satisfaction when I’m able to incorporate the essence of each element into my work. Handmade from porcelain, each piece is individually formed, shaped, and glazed by hand.
To fully capture the delicate and subtle details of my subjects, I make plaster molds and hand-carved clay pieces reflecting the elements and surface textures of objects found in nature.
In the early stages of my career, I used the wheel to throw pottery to create traditional, cylindrical pieces, adding the aquatic elements later. As my work progressed, I discovered that I prefer more sculptural pieces with organic, imperfect shapes. To me, they’re more interesting, and much more closely related to the shapes found in nature.
That’s when I began experimenting with different shapes, and blending the elements of trout, salmon and the rivers and streams they call home into every piece. Just like every fish is unique, every mug I make is one-of-a-kind.
To create a harmonious surface, I carefully examine, select, and blend glazes. With form, texture, and color in mind, I am meticulous about every detail of the surface image. My ideas grow and develop organically, informed by my love of fishing and nature.
Much like the artistic process, the gift in fishing is the element of surprise. The true reward is communing with nature and relishing in those moments when a fish is pulled from the water. It is in the strike and the action. I see it and touch it, and I marvel at the beauty of the creation I hold gently in my hands before releasing it back to its home.
I have the same experience each time I pull a newly-fired piece out of the kiln. Each piece is a re- flection of my passions, vision, and spirit. Through teapots, platters, and vessels, I bring fish to the table.