I've always wanted to live in the country and make pots, and I have been doing so for many years. It has been a dream come true. I love making pots in the solitude of my studio. Recently I have changed my focus from working on the potter's wheel to working with slabs of clay. Sometimes this results in a large, colorful platter that looks great on a coffee table while other times the rolled out clay becomes a fluid vertical piece such as a vase or sculptural form. These pieces draw me into the many possible subtleties of form and contour. This suppleness also entices me to make creatures such as turtles, frogs, and ducks. I love seeing all these forms come alive in my hands.
Firing my ceramic pieces is an all day event. I fire to 2380 degrees Farenheit (cone 10) in an updraft gas kiln, and it takes about eight hours to safely bring the pieces up to that temperature. While the piece is firing, I adjust the kiln atmosphere so that the right chemical reactions take place to bring out the beauty of the particular glazes I am using. For some glazes I maintain the peak temperature for a short while, for others the kiln can be allowed to cool as soon as "cone" is reached. The pots need to cool very slowly, gradually working their way back to room temperature...another slow process. The pots can be unloaded by the middle of the next day.
I love firing with gas and in reduction because there is a wonderful subtlety in the depth of color as the flame directs its flow and attention on each piece. The pots are just never exactly alike and they are so alive, carrying an essence from the potter's hand.