I am an artist working in ceramics and teaching art at various levels for more than 14 years. I graduated with a B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 with an Emphasis in Art Education, and since then my work has appeared in local and regional galleries and showcases.
My forms have evolved over the years from working with the atmospheric soda-firing process. I create spherical forms to contrast and enable the chaotic the path of the flame that travels in a variety of ways and leaves a large variety of marks across the surface. Structurally, my forms have also evolved to withstand this unpredictable nature of the soda firing process. Each firing and vessel is unique and lends a one-of-a-kind quality to each of my pieces.
The soda-firing process requires a mix of soda ash, baking soda, calcium and wood chips in the kiln to create the outer glaze of the piece. At 2250 F, the glaze vapor travels through the kiln in a variety of somewhat predictable paths that over the day of firing create the distinctively beautiful flashing marks on the pieces. I use a special clay body, a Shino liner glaze, and sometimes a flashing slip on the outside, to achieve the subsequent contrast of colors in the final appearance.
The process of soda firing inspires me to continually search for new forms that embrace the organic path of the flame to capture its mark in new and beautiful compositions. To me, the kiln represents a universe of opportunities for creation and destruction. Certain shapes or inconsistent clay formations can fall or become warped by the intense heat and stress of the firing process. And yet, surprisingly, other forms evolve to thrive in this process, and reveal the astoundingly beautiful capabilities of the violently chaotic universe of fire and heat inside the kiln.