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To some, art comes naturally. To others it is completely unattainable. For me, and many others, it comes by perseverance. I am by all accounts not a natural artist. 2 dimensional art I can do but it feels like work. I must say, I do love clay. My process has grown from that beginning in my youth. As early as 6th grade, I fell in love with what can be done via clay. Art class was like torture for an A.D.D. kid like me. I had no patience to sit and draw something. But clay! Now there was something almost instant, that I took to with earnest right through high school. Eventually life separated me from this passion until I returned to college to finish a degree long gone stale. I took a ceramics class, and the passion welled back up inside me. First it became a hobby, then a craft, then a small side business and in 2 years it snowballed into my full time job. I started school to obtain a math teaching degree, and ended up with a BA in studio arts.
I started as a humble craftsman making simple utilitarian wares. Then, one day, the unthinkable happened. I saw the most amazing thing I had seen in my whole life. This guy had pots with crystals grown all over them. I was taken in complete awe. For the next year and a half my new mistress, crystalline glaze, consumed all my free time (and money). I simply had to do this. 1 fried kiln, countless schlock in my waste pile, and what remained of my hair, lost later, I eventually got proficient at it. Now I am one of a few (I estimate around 200) in the world that creates this on a regular basis.
Crystalline glazing is a process whereby crystals are literally grown right in the glaze during the firing process. This requires specialized equipment, higher temperatures, special materials, a dash of chemistry knowledge, patience without limit, and a good deal of persistence too. This is the primary reason there are so few of us that mess with this. It is, however, the most amazing glaze technique I can find available.
As an artist, I follow a Chinese philosophy. In Chinese art, works must reference the past works to be considered relevant. Chinese porcelain works are highly refined, conform to a mathematical balance of symmetry, and are as much a piece of art as a painting. In my opinion, and that of 15th through 18th century Europeans, it is the pinnacle of ceramic art. In reverence to that tradition, I try to maintain the suggestion of form in Ming and Qin Dynasty works. On the other hand, I want to add a contemporary feel to my work, thus, a merger with crystalline glazes. This is something I call Contemporary Classicalism. My desire is to create a piece that will be as comfortable in the most modern of décor and also at home in a very classic, elegant space.