ARTIST BIO

Update:

As of April, 2013 I am co-owner of General Fine Craft, Art & Design in Almonte Ontario. Together with artist Chandler Swain, we have founded a wonderful gallery showing the work of over 70 artists from across Ontario and Quebec. Monthly solo and group shows supplement a well-displayed array of media including ceramics, fibre, glass, jewellery & metalwork, wood, painting, paper arts, mixed-media, furniture design and more. The General is a place like no other… drop in for a visit sometime soon!

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I developed a great love of clay and pots while at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the mid-1980’s, then worked in art-related fields in Kingston, Toronto and Iqaluit. Pots always remained a passionate interest and in 1999 I began making them again, taking the leap from occasional to full-time studio potter in 2004.
Currently I live and work in Almonte, a small historic mill town along the Mississippi River in eastern Ontario. It’s a charming community blending old and new in a bucolic setting. My partner and I have lived here since 2006, with our lovely pup Olive.
As well as making pots, I co-organize several artist-run exhibitions and studio tours (see Links page).

WORKING IN CLAY

Clay has a legacy of use within the realms of art, science and industry that are historically important in the development of world civilizations. Thousands of years of beautiful pottery traditions provide inspiration for an artist like myself to draw from. I belong in some small way to this tradition which combines skill and creativity, function and beauty.

My technique is referred to as slipware which originated in Europe when the increasing trade of Chinese and Korean ceramics brought high market demand for the bright white porcelain traditions of the east. In reaction, European potters began coating their local iron-rich earthenware clays with white slip, then painting and incising its surface to mimic Asian styles. This simple technique has since developed into its own distinctive ceramic aesthetic and continues to be practiced by studio potters around the world.

I make functional forms for everyday use: bowls, mugs, pitchers and plates meant for food service; vases and jardinières for the display of cut flowers. Red earthenware has been my clay of choice for its rich terracotta colour which is warmly alluring and reminiscent of many folk pottery traditions. Most of my work is wheel-thrown, reflecting an interest in voluminous form, malleability of the material and touch of the hand. Then white slip is applied, offering a bright surface on which to paint, draw and incise through.

All these steps leave room for spontaneity and the exploration of design choices. This is why my work is always changing and developing and why I focus on limited production runs and one-of-a-kind pieces.

CURRENT WORK
The New Directions page in my web gallery exhibits work that I began in late 2011. Still using the potter’s wheel, this work takes a closer look at the volume of form and the contrasts that can be created by stacking thrown forms. The approach to surface decoration is somewhat minimalist, emphasizing the form and playing with illusions on that form. At other times I see the form in human terms and glaze it with imagery derived from the idea that systems are constantly at work within living bodies.

  • Bowls Drying Out In The Back Garden

    bowls drying in the sun

    Bowls Drying Out In The Back Garden

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  • Recent Work

  • Studio

    showroom.a