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01 Extravagant Crust.JPG

Extravagant Crust, 2007, 7 x 4 x 4 inches

05 Speed Shield.JPG

Speed Shield, 2007, 7. 5 x 3 x 3.5 inches

06 Speed Shield detail.jpg
Custom Conchology

Hand-built porcelain, multi-fired with china paints and lusters

From the time I began studying Biblical parables, still life painting, and, later, ceramics, I have been fascinated by how inanimate, utilitarian objects can provide clues about what it means to be human.


Using the car body as a metaphor, the porcelain sculpture in this series explores the relationship between risk-taking, vulnerability, and the coverings we devise for ourselves. A car body’s purpose is both aesthetic and protective. In that spirit, these empty, wheel-less vessels combine the delicate and decorative with the rough and blemished. Each of these rigid, shell-like forms is also designed to hint at the movements of the soft-bodied creature that might inhabit it. 

Clay is a medium of paradoxes. Porcelain, with its technical challenges, magnifies these contradictions. Brittle and impermeable when fired, it still preserves the sense of movement and softness it had as it yielded to forming. It is both durable and fragile, earthy and pure.  For these reasons I find it to be a tool well suited for thinking about the complexities of human nature. I choose to build in a way that reveals not only the strengths, but also the weaknesses of the material. Some pieces simply will not bear being pushed to the material’s limits as they are stressed during building, bisque firing, glazing, or the near 2400° F heat of the kiln.  It is not uncommon for me to have to build a piece three, four, or more times, which gives the survivors a particular tension and preciousness.

Speed Shield, 2007, 7. 5 x 3 x 3.5 inches

02 Fringed Cruiser.JPG

Fringed Cruiser, 2007, 9. 5 x 4.5 x 4 inches

03 Antenna and Old Lace.jpg

Antennae and Old Lace, 2007, 10 inches long

07 Soft Shell with Frills.JPG

Soft Shell with Ruffles, 2007, 2.5 inches long

08 Ruffled Carapace.JPG

Ruffled Carapace, 2007, 8 x 4 x 3.5 inches


Armor, with Chinks, 2007, 5 inches long

04 Chantilly Armor.JPG

Chantilly Armor, 2007, 9.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 inches

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