Toe River Arts | Clay
Clay (stoneware and porcelain)
I have always loved surfaces transformed by wind, water, and time: worn stone carvings at Angkor Wat, and mottled copper greens of ancient Chinese bronzes.
Living in the rugged terrain and climate of the Blue Ridge Mountains has influenced my work. Our daily views of Grandfather Mountain, the Linville River, and the woods behind our studio offer continually changing studies in color, light, and texture that find their way onto my pots.
For me, experimenting with clays and glazes is like immersion in the wilderness: the joy of exploring & the thrill of discovery. And it is the texture and palette of the wild – forest, mountain, river, stars – that sparks my work.
Using stoneware or porcelain, I form each pot on a kickwheel, and then carve, facet, or apply thick slip to create a deep texture. Pouring, spritzing, and spraying multiple glazes creates layered surfaces that reference the natural world: the movement of water over rock and vegetation, the luminosity of ice and snow and sky.
Pottery is ancient elemental simplicity: hands, earth, water, air, fire. Yet making pots is rich in complexity: endless invitations to experiment with materials & textures & firing processes. After 48 years of working with clay, I feel like I’m still just beginning to discover its possibilities and surprises. Opening my kiln is the closest I get to being a six-year-old on Christmas morning.