ALL CERAMICS IS AN ASHTRAY
My relationship with clay began in 1968. I was mesmerized by the sorcery of the potter’s wheel. My interest in “flat art” took a backseat to all aspects of making pottery. I got proficient quickly, i.e., hours and hours spent at the wheel. My fascination became diminished after being asked to assemble a group of good potters to initiate a production line of pottery for an existing decorative candle company. Making the same pot all day long, while profitable, was a little mind numbing (and not in my preferred early 70s way.)
Around this time, my flat art sensibilities began to show up in my clay work, color and humor being the most important to me. I began using paint on ceramic sculptural forms eschewing traditional glazes. Within a few years the paint stayed and the clay didn’t. I spent the next thirty years making paintings, sometimes on objects (furniture, electric guitars, etc.) with a concentration on surface treatment of my imagery. I preferred painting on hard, ungiving surfaces like wood. I would only paint on canvas if I found a painting in the trash and painted over it. In other words, I was still kind of painting on fired clay.
At 60, after a major lifestyle change that left me unemployed, I thought I’d try teaching ceramics again, and did. It was financially disappointing but it triggered a lot of ideas that required me to use clay, and that was worth it.
So now I’m back to playing with mud, making objects that only function as sources of amusement for me and those with a taste for odd objects in a pretty package.