Below is an article I wrote for 

Responsive Clay
Clay is a tactile and responsive material that lures you in, yet can be fickle and is impossible to rush. At each of its states, potholes await - from wet to dry, dry to bisque and bisque to its final fired state. This can be both insanely frustrating and a source of beautiful gifts.

I make forms and objects in clay, some of which are skulls & bones, garlands, eyes, needles, teeth, shells, jewels, bells,  and keys. These all become a canvas on which I paint images, symbols and text. I hand build, slip cast and throw on the wheel. I love earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, each for their unique qualities.

For twelve years I was a jeweler and to this I accredit why I like work to hang and make pieces that get assembled together. Non-ceramic materials in my work include hemp rope, cotton tassels, felted wool, brass and wood. I like to imagine the work installed outside in trees, similar to when I designed earrings and would see them in multiples on the ear.

The majority of my last firing was a collection of bells. In Japan visitors at shrines ring ‘Suzu’ to announce their presence to the resident deity. Ringing them alerts the gods, heroes and spirits, and also helps to acquire positive power and repel evil. For me, they were made in homage to the Present through sound and partly inspired by the following quote:

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne

Words are a huge source of inspiration and a springboard from which images arise and decisions are carved. Sometimes an idea arrives complete and what follows is simply it’s execution. When it’s made, I think,  “Yep, there it is.” Other times changes occur - happy accidents and sudden flashes of inspiration, crossroads of ideas create layer cakes.

Impermanence and interconnection are ideas I keep returning to. ‘Mono No Aware’ is a Japanese term that translates into ‘the pathos of things’ and refers to the acknowledgement of impermanence. I think of it as “the beautiful sadness of things passing.” In that, no thing or being is excluded.

I draw often, but not solely, from writings and teachings of Buddhism, which has an extensive visual language. I understand the meanings to be universal to all and independent of religious attachments. I strive to connect the inner world with the outer world without suppressing that sometimes things just don’t reconcile. There is an Allen Ginsberg poem that plays often in my head and is about everything that lives under the surface and swept under the rug - our waste, in sewers and out, our forgotten, our ignored.

A contemporary First Nations artist said to me recently, “Everything we need to know is in the sky.” Sometimes when you look at the sky it can cut right down to the bone. This moment, in the midst of it all, is what I attempt to convey. My hope is that my work serves as both objects of contemplation and as a source of encouragement, inspiring reverence. However, a little irreverence and a lot of silliness can go a long way- yeah, and don’t forget the rock n’ roll.