Artists Statement

Art has always been a part of my life. My mother was a graduate of The Julliard School studying piano, bassoon, and spent some time drawing. Her grandfather, a Russian immigrant who lived with us when I was a child, was a tailor of fine clothing. My Great Uncle, also from Russia and with whom I was very close, painted landscapes while he made his living as a house painter. My uncle was a talented painter and musician. My parents saw the value in art and took me and my siblings to museums, concerts, Broadway plays, and to our chagrin forced us to take music lessons. Despite all this, I was more interested in athletics than arts and went to college to become a physical education teacher.  That career path didn’t last very long.

There was never a conscious decision to do art or to become an artist.  It’s not the kind of activity one decides to do. It's more like something that gets done because it has to.  My movement towards art was natural and I knew it was right. Clay entered my life as a random encounter in 1971.  John Jessiman, my teacher, was an Alfred grad who was a wonderful potter and teacher. He mesmerized me with his fluidity and ease with clay. After seeing him throw I decided I wanted to be a potter. At Rhode Island School Of Design,  Norm Schulman was unforgiving, rigid, and set in his ways.  I learned alot from Norm and the whole scene there.  The year spent at RISD was the most influential experience in my decision to work with clay.

I've been involved with clay full time since 1975 making pots, teaching, writing, and operating my own studio.  From my earliest introduction to clay I have always been fascinated and excited about the wheel. It is not one, but all of the components of that tool that hold and keep my interest; the speed, fluidity, and in particular, the sense of growth I observe and control during the process. My aim and ambition is to make good pots. My work is about vessels and the characteristics that make the vessel come alive: volume, texture, color, and scale.  One of my objectives is, through my vessels, to preserve the connection between contemporary ceramic expression and pottery’s origins as functional containers, not to transform and abandon it.  Though my forms are not functional as in domestic ware, they do suggest function and are certainly containers.