As a material, clay is of the earth and is the common ground between us, always in the making and constantly under discovery.
My attraction to working with it stems from my passion for life itself, a divine and creative process. Using images as metaphors, I strive to bring the observer closer to the common and uncommon threads that bind us. Through the exploration of shapes and forms my ideas describe the stories that we share and connect us. In essence, these narratives are an examination of the structures that govern us, be they natural or man made. My work speaks to the strength of our relationships and the experiences they bring about . The elements of the work represent and uncover the journeys we make, even to those places that are sometimes better left out of our reach.
Growing up in South Africa I had the opportunity to discover the untold richness of the vastness of what the Continent of Africa provided. Under the duress of the Apartheid regime, as a child, the need to travel into the inner recess of my mind and connect to my creativity. Influenced by my African roots, I spent many moments entering the realm of ancient art fed by Africa's multicultural identities.
I moved to Canada in the mid 70s and chose to reside in a remote rural location. Initially I began working in the forests replanting the land and repairing the destruction reeked by an unsaitable human appetite of our earths precious resources. During this period I trained as a cabinetmaker learning traditional methods of wood working and established a woodworking business.
My journey with clay began in 1985 when I married a potter and was introduced to the intricacies of the ceramic process. Ceramics was everything that woodworking was not, and that engaged me. The challenges of learning to throw, the technical aspect and stylistic variables all fascinated me. I was hooked , and made a shift to clay as my primary material with the ocassional wood working job on the side. I had entered the world of production pottery. The studio that I built became well equipped and my skills developed.
The work produced was low fire decorated majolica tableware, sculptural forms with slips and glazes, and forays into raku. One of my neighbors was a Bernard Leach trained potter and operated a large studio. There we built a traditional Anagama that was fired twice a year. One of her apprentices went on to set up a studio close by, so I had good mentors. After six years of working in the studio I decided to go back to school to acquire my BFA and attended Alberta College of Art and Design. However circumstances were such that I was unable to complete the program and I returned to studio work. I continued making and selling through shows, sales, fairs and galleries and through my school experience my work began to change taking various twists and turns. I was a member of the British Columbia potters guild and the Kamloops potters guild and interacted with many of the area potters. I continued making work and teaching adult and kids classes from my studio until the end of 1999, when after 25 years in rural Canada I had the opportunity move and work in the USA.
I relocated to Ojai CA, home of two world-renowned potters, Beatrice Wood and Otto Heino and began to work with educational communities developing arts programs, making work and teaching. Opportunity arose for me to move to Los Angeles where I was hired to manage a ceramic micro enterprise job-training program for at-risk youth. My work there involved training the teens in the manufacture and installation of large-scale hand made tile, mosaic murals and architectural ceramics. We designed, manufactured and installed murals in schools and produced a variety of products. After 18 months with the program the organization was unable to secure sufficient funding to continue the operation and it was shut down.
I returned to Ojai and reestablished a studio where I continued to teach and develop my work some of which you have viewed here.
I am currently based in Santa Monica.
Santa Monica / Ojai California