current ceramic work reflects an investigation into
several areas of interest and an attempt to unify solutions
to various visual problems. One interest is in the vessel
as an abstract sculptural form and its many associations,
both literal and metaphoric. Another is pattern and
color and how a collection of abstract elements can
create various feelings or impressions. A third is an
interest in the integration of surface pattern and three
dimensional form. The technique that I use, which results
in a penetration of the pattern through the thickness
of the wall so as to be visible on both the outside
and the inside, is a partial solution to the problem;
but from a strictly two dimensional standpoint I am
also concerned with how the pattern relates to the form
as seen in profile.
certain degree of illusion of depth is created by some
color/pattern combinations and I enjoy the play of this
implied visual depth vs. the "flat" modulating
surface of the pot vs. the real depth that is present
in the interior space. My aim is not, however, to create
strong illusions nor representational or abstracted
pictures on the pots.
initial attraction to the nerikomi technique came from
its organic union of pattern and structure. Rather than
the former being applied to the latter, as in most decorative
pottery traditions, the two are one and the same. The
natural world abounds with this sort of union and as
a result, offers endless inspiration for pattern making.
The other aspect that was particularly attractive to
me was the translation of the physical properties of
clay into a visual format. By this I mean that the very
plasticity of the clay is made
visible in the way that an imposed pattern is altered.
Straight parallel lines are created by stacking up slices
of variously colored clays but in the manipulation of
the resulting soft block of clay, the lines become undulating
or are perhaps made to taper down to a hair's breadth.
Porcelain of course shows off this quality to its greatest
extent but the principle is the same with any clay.
I think of my patterns as being a collaboration between
my imposed structure and the clay's wise alteration
of that structure.
addition to the natural sources, I have found inspiration
for patterns in a number of other areas. Fabric design
has recently been of great interest to me as well as
a variety of non-ceramic craft traditions. Graphic design
of all sorts serves as visual stimulation and color
ideas can come as easily from a magazine ad as from
a rock, shell, or flower.
Museum of American Art, Renwick Gallery, Washington,
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
The White House, Washington, D.C.
International Ceramics Festival Collection, Mino, Japan
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa
Henry Ford Community College, Michigan
MCI Collection, Washington, D.C.
White House Collection of American Crafts
by Michael W. Monroe, et al (Hardcover - April 1995)
1998 Colour in Clay. Jane Waller, Crowood Press Ltd.,
2001 Ceramics, Mastering the Craft, 2nd Edition, Richard
Zakin, Krause Publications, Iola, VA
1994 "The Studio Potter." Gerry Williams,
pub. Colored Clay section. "Pattern and Color"
by Thomas Hoadley. 12/94.
1995, 2003 Contemporary Porcelain. Peter Lane, Chilton
Book Company, Radnor, PA
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