Using handmade pottery is an intimate, visceral, aesthetic experience. The feel of the shape, the weight in relation to size, the texture of the clay and glaze, the touch of the throwing lines between thumb and finger are as much a part of the experience of a pot as what our eyes take in: the colour, the line of the rim, the silhouette and the proportions.
Most of my work is thrown on the wheel and salt-fired in a natural gas kiln. I work towards a tension between chance and control, paring down my forms in search of a perfect shape and proportion, but allowing the process to show in the subtle marks and gestures of my hands, the trail of the flame and the salt vapour, and the inherent qualities of clay.
I don't apply glaze to the outside of my pots, but use different slips which work with the underlying clay body to achieve various colours and textures, ranging from dry to shiny, highly cratered, or "orange peeled", to smoother, eggshell surfaces. My colours range from earthy brick-orange to dark and light blues to dove gray and ochre. The salt vapour swirls around the pots in the kiln, driven by the long flames, hitting each pot with varying amounts of intensity, creating unpredictable surface variation and complexity. The randomness of the surfaces achieved in the firing are counterpoint to the pared down, clean lines that I work towards in the making process.
Although I strive for the perfect pot, it is always out of reach and that keeps my quest fresh, creative and adventurous.
I have a BFA from the University of British Columbia in sculpture and printmaking. After starting to work in clay when my children were small, I discovered salt glazing at Capilano College in 2001, continuing my education with the teacher, Sam Kwan, for several years.