Through clay, I am exploring contrasts: the physical feel and social connotations of earthy red terra cotta, gritty stoneware and smooth white porcelain; the geometry of sharply cut slabs, flexibility of coils and speed of wheel thrown orbs; the predictable practicality of electric kilns and the beauty of letting go in a community wood firing. The forms I create may feel pleasant but also contain contradictions – rocking shapes holding water, vases with tiny holes asking to be useful, soft round forms marked with hard lines.
Recently I have focused on making vases. Each vessel aspires to be enjoyed in its own right but is made even more complete with just the right branch. I am drawn to and inspired by the lines and movement of ikebana flower arrangements and held by the emotional beauty of sharing flowers in a handmade vase. I like making small work that is a joy to gift, to hold and behold. I like to imagine that anyone can enjoy a little bit of art in their daily life. In a world overwhelmed by greed, injustice and hurt, ceramics is a vessel through which I can find and share wonder, joy and kindness.
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon by a mother who encouraged an appreciation for classical music, art and gardening along with a solid work ethic, generosity, logical thinking and a touch of silliness. After earning a degree studying the growth and structure of cities and anthropology, I entered the world of non-profit affordable housing and community organizing in Oakland, California. Eyes opened and feeling burnt out, I returned home and worked at my family’s tofu shop before deciding to focus on an interest in pottery sparked by a ceramics class in high school.
Nurtured through community studios and the group effort of wood fired kilns, my path broadened with the opportunity to run a small community clay studio at the Oregon coast. Stepping into a leadership role nurtured a deeper sense of responsibility to create and grow – learning to fire kilns, mix glazes, share knowledge as a teacher and beginning to exhibit and sell work. In 2019, I am excited and grateful to continue exploring my curiosity in clay through a women's firing at East Creek Anagama and residencies at Byrdcliffe and Red Lodge Clay Center.