I love its fluidity and the ability I have to create wafer thin objects with it. Getting it to be as thin as possible and creating twists and turns excites me. I love too, how the light plays off its surface.
It was only after my heart and imagination were taken by this amazing material that I decided to learn more about it so that I could take my work in new directions. The fact that it is challenging to work with and prone to calamity are things I am glad I wasn't told early on.
Over time, I have learned its peculiarities by becoming intimate with it and now understand, respect and cater to its uniqueness.
I love the purity of white, but I also think white is the best color to let the light play off the shapes. And, practically speaking, it can work with almost any decor.
What are the origins of my shapes?
My pieces recall the forms and motions of flowers, sea plants and ocean waves. I had no plan to do this. It is what came naturally to me as I worked each piece of clay. My first hand-formed bowls, tiny as they were, one inch in diameter, recalled flowers. I still create what I call tiny blooms, but now I work mostly creating large florals and wall sculptures.
I live in a place where the ocean and a beautiful landscape woven with gardens and a rocky shore have become part of me. And my love of both the sea and lush gardens now come through my hands and into my clay.
What is the process?
Smaller works take two to three weeks to complete, while larger ones can take four to seven weeks.
While I use just one simple metal tool to help me perfect my shapes, my favorite tool is my hand.
To me, each ball of clay is a unique, unpredictable entity, and so often, my turns and twists are done only with the its cooperation. In essence, I work along with the clay, working to move it to its full potential as an object of art.
With raw porcelain, no shape stays where I leave it. Imagine working with dough, where you flatten it, smooth it, and then try to bring it up into a form. I prop every single move with handmade concoctions that hold the direction. With pure porcelain I have to create layers and layers of covers so that the piece can dry evenly without cracking. As days pass, I slowly remove layers of covers until none remain.
Once it is bone dry I dab my fingertip with water and slightly soften the outer layer and then use a blade to gently perfect the shapes. Any pressure at this point in the drying process can cause a piece to shatter.
Once that step is complete, it goes into the kiln for two days. When it is cool, I begin the glazing process.
I hand brush three coats on each piece, with two to three hour intervals between coats. Two more days in the kiln for a final firing, and the piece is complete.
Every single step that gets to a completed work is a new adventure and an indescribable joy in my life.