Most of my life has been spent in New York City, which is where I currently live and have my studio. I studied art and graphic design at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts, and then worked professionally as a graphic artist for many years, most notably with the Swedish design firm of Hall and Cederquist. This experience of Swedish design with its simple, clean lines and peaceful, empty space had a large influence on my aesthetic sensibility.
I took up ceramics in 1999 and found in it a creative expression that felt very natural to me. In the course of my studies I discovered the world of Japanese and Korean pottery, and had an immediate and heartfelt response to the Asian ceramic aesthetic. I found that both the Swedish and Asian design sensibilities with their qualities of simplicity and serenity were, in my mind, quite compatible. These influences inform much of my work.
I have always found joy in making things. I love the process of moving from idea to completion, of seeing something in my mind and bringing it into existence with my hands. It's as if my hands know things… beautiful things, ancient things, wise things… and clay gives them a way to speak. My hands can say things in clay that I don't know how to say in words.
Creating something is an adventure. It's a non-linear process of exploration and discovery. A piece of work will take on a life of its own and show me where it wants to go. When I am immersed in building there is a flow, an exchange of my input and its mark on the piece with what the piece reflects back to me. It's a conversation of a uniquely intimate kind, spoken in private, about wants and loves and needs and the pleasures of needs fulfilled. There is a resonance inside when all the parts fall into place... the quality of the clay, the knowing in my fingers, the ghostly sense of the finished piece I have inside myself, and the final product as it emerges. These are the moments of bliss.
It's essential to me to spend enough time and effort refining the forms. It's an act of trueing up the work to a kind of inner template… to my interior sense of balance and beauty. To me beauty is literally truth in a way I can't explain in words. I leave that to poets. But I know when a piece is true, and I am always aiming for that ideal.
My aesthetic is informed in large part by the inner place of order and harmony I've found inside myself. Having grown up spending much time alone and unable to rely on outer circumstances for a sense of security, I learned, as an alternative, to retreat inside and find an inner place of connection… an interior access to a more beautiful world. It's the heart of my spiritual life and it's where I go to source my work. I am always striving to align the pieces I make with this ideal. A piece is successful when it embodies this inner sense of harmony and order… when it makes visible my inner world of magical beauty. Its ultimate success comes when viewed and, in that moment, reflects to the viewer a glimpse of this beauty, offering them connection to a stillness inside.
I am inspired by my belief in the power of beauty to affect and change us in positive ways. When we are in nature we can feel expanded, calmed, uplifted. I believe objects of beauty in our living spaces can offer the same experience, can bring indoors this feeling of harmony and serenity… even a spirit of the sacred. My intention in my work is to make things that are beautiful in this way, that offer this experience.
I love that clay is ancient. I love that it comes from the ground and that all the materials I use were once in the earth. I love that the ceramic process uses the four alchemical elements - earth, air, fire and water - and is literally transformational. I love that it teaches me over and over to surrender my expectations and ideas of being in control.
Solo Exhibitions and Group Shows
Restless II! - A Mix, Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York, NY, 2013
Winter 2012-2013 Contemporary Ceramics Art & Design, Cocobolo Design, New York, NY 2013
Metro Show art fair, with Cavin- Morris Gallery, New York, NY 2013
Group Exhibition, Cavin- Morris Gallery, New York, NY 2012
Natural Order, Solo exhibition, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY 2012
Made in Clay, Annual juried exhibition, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY 2009 - 2011
Interiors & Ceramics: Animating Space with Sculpture, Cocobolo Design, New York, NY, 2010
New York Ceramics Now, Cocobolo Design, New York, NY, 2009
Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Cocobolo Design, New York, NY, 2009
Sacred Containments, A show of Vessels, Nests and Shelters, Lynn Tendler Bignell Gallery, Brookfield, CT, 2009
Ram Dass Library Show: Ceramic vessels, Solo exhibition, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, 2009
Sacred Containments, Two person show, Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, 2007
Small Works Exhibition, 80 Washington Square East Galleries, NYU, New York, NY, 2006, 2007, 2009
Annual Members Exhibition, Jane Hartsook Gallery, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, 2000 - 2011
Craft Students League Exhibition, YWCA Hitchcock/Rockefeller Auditorium, New York, NY, 2004
Anna Siok Award, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, 2008
Madeline Sadin Award, Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY, 2002
HGTV Design Star, Season 6, Episode 1, 2011
Elle Decor Magazine, What’s Hot, January/ February 2013
Cavin - Morris Gallery, New York, NY, www.cavinmorris.com
Cocobolo Design, New York, NY, www.cocobolodesign.com
Trans- luxe, Lighting and shades, New York, NY, trans-luxe.com
Ceramics Instructor, La Mano Pottery, New York, NY, 2006 - 2007
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY - ceramics, 2000 - present
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY - ceramics weekend demonstration and lecture, Don Reitz, 2010
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY - Work study, studio intern, 2002 - 2003
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY - ceramics workshop intensive, Sam Chung, 2003
Greenwich House Pottery, New York, NY - ceramics workshop intensive, Richard Notkin, 2002
Craft Students League, New York, NY - jewelry and metalsmithing, 2002 - 2005
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY - graphic design, 1977 - 1980
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY - advertising design and visual communication, 1967 - 1969
Art Students League, New York, NY - painting, 1967
Gladys Schwartz, New York, NY - painting and drawing, 1963 - 1966