The year I was born my father built a new house amid his tomato and alfalfa fields in the Central California delta. He surrounded it with almost an acre of lawn and then planted several varieties of trees, creating the feel of a park. The garden was my mother’s purview and included beds of iris and tulips, a wisteria arbor, borders of annuals, flaming red ice plant and many, many rose bushes. A regular Giverny minus the pond. There was also the big sandbox!
I left all this to study art at San Jose State University in 1968. It was there where I was introduced to Art Nouveau (reinforcing my floral tendencies) and ceramics (my inner mud pie). The ceramics courses at this time were steeped in the Japanese folk craft tradition. The department head, Herbert Sanders, had strong ties to the potters that had revived Japan’s Mingei movement.
In 1972 I received my BA in Art and went on to complete a Secondary Teaching Credential in 1973. I taught for a couple of years, married, and then moved to Santa Cruz and set up my first permanent clay studio.
A few years into my new career a customer commented that my work reminded him of “Rookwood,” the finest of the American Art Pottery that had employed Japanese designers. A few books later on the subject, I realized how I had been following in a decorative tradition I had never been formally exposed to, but had come to on my own. Since then I have taken four trips with fellow potters to Japan and visited the ancient kiln sites, important pottery centers and many, many studios of contemporary potters. The clay work from that country sings to me.
I have been a producing studio potter for over 35 years and still love it. It is a tradition the can be traced throughout history and gives me a connection to the cultures of the world. And since I have a compulsion to makes things, and what better way than with clay? My work is sold almost exclusively at juried Fine Arts shows throughout central California and also directly from my studio. I really enjoy meeting the people who buy and use my pieces. I invite you to call and visit my studio.