I took my first pottery class as a senior in high school. In college, I
studied (again as a senior) with Laura Andresen, who had established
teaching of ceramics at UCLA. In the summers of 1998 and 1999, I took
classes from Leigh Sweetman-Ivie at Northland Pioneer College in Showlow,
Arizona. During the summer of 2002, I studied sculpture with Randall
White, also at Northland Pioneer College. I have also taken classes from Bill van Gilder, a production potter, Eric Hendrick, and Joan Ulrich at
the Art League School of Alexandria, Virginia. With so much instruction from outstanding potters, I should be much better than I am.
I make a variety of ceramics ranging from bowls and jars to animal
figurines and abstracts-sometimes whimsical-sculptures. I believe that
all of my pottery is "functional" in the broadest sense because it serves
utilitarian and/or aesthetic ends. A sculpture that gives pleasure to
someone who views and handles it has a function no less tangible and
meaningful than a flowerpot.
My work, realized mainly in cones 5-8 porcelain and stoneware, has
many sources of inspiration. Because I am an anthropologist who studies
technology (ancient and modern), I have viewed countless objects made of
wood, metal, glass, stone, and clay. The influence of these many
archaeological, ethnographic, and modern objects on my designs is
sometimes overt, but more often it is muted.
The few words that best describe my style are control, simplicity,
emphasis on form and texture, and whimsy. Above all, my work allows me,
as an anthropologist, to celebrate how people from disparate times and
cultures have transformed everyday materials into functional yet sensual
objects. I hope gradually to understand the transcendent design
principles that give many objects, especially traditional ones, a
I emphasize that my pieces lack intellectual and political
meanings. Rather than interpreting my designs, people should merely
ponder their allusions--intended and unintended--to other traditional and
modern forms. Above all, I hope that those who view and touch my
creations will experience a moment of pleasure and mirth.