I began studying ceramics and art in Ithaca NY, were I grew up. Before attending college at Alfred University in Alfred New York I moved to Brisbane Australia where I studied Ceramic art and material science. It was during this time that my investigation of the vessel grew strong and my interests gravitated towards functional Pottery. The Studio Ceramic movement is still very strong in Australia and greatly influenced my process and esthetic.
After returning from Australia I attended Alfred to study Sculpture and Ceramics. At this time I began researching the history of the vessel. This strong history continues to have an impact on my work today though I have drifted from ceramics to glass. I was drawn to Greek vessels because of their dynamic relationship between surface and form. In contrast I was also attracted to Chinese vessel forms because of their powerful presence and quite demeanor. Also influenced by artists such as Peter Voulkos and Robert Turner the idea of simplicity and abstraction in form overlapped by surface pattern and texture emerged as a crucial element in my work.
It was not until I started attending Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood Washington that I started investigating engraving and carving glass. This process opened the doors for me to pull together elements of color, form, pattern and texture to create a unique voice within the material. Because cutting glass inherently leaves a matt unpolished surface I began to see a strong connection to the ceramic surface and its relationship to light and color. By removing the glossy shine so recognized as glass I can take the focus of the material and put it on the surface color and design. The matt surface absorbs light while the shiny surface will reflect it. This phenomenon causes colors to become rich and bold, a quality often associated with the ceramic surface weather it be raw or glazed. To bring this surface to glass is to give richness and sensitivity to pattern and color.
Cutting and engraving the glass after it has cooled is the most direct way for me to contact and alter the material. As glass naturally shines and appears hard and dense, cutting the surface and leaving it unpolished allows it to become rich, soft and tactile. The mark left by each pass of the cutting wheel is a fingerprint carrying information like the stroke of a paintbrush.
Using both natural and industrial pattern as a reference, the surface of the objects that I create becomes a framework for abstraction. Simple shifts in hue and opacity create variations in the imagery that give each object depth, both visually and emotionally. As the color carries with it an emotive quality, the texture and surface bring tactile sensation and recognition. While engraving has become my voice, the evidence of the hand, the subtleties of surface and the creative process are all vital to the creation of my work.