Some of my earliest memories are of swimming around in the tide pools near Hilo and playing in the hapu`u at Camp Hale Aloha in Volcano.  This was the beginning of my interest in and love for the natural world.  My grandfather, was a great influence on me.  He loved to create bonsai and designed and built beautiful gardens surrounding his home.

      In college at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, I began studies in Biology. The ceramics program at Puget Sound was quite large for a small college with both undergraduate and graduate programs and extensive facilities.  I took my first class as a junior and was hooked.  While I finished my BA degree in biology, my main interest was now in ceramics. 

      At UPS my work was influenced by my teachers F. Carlton Ball and Kenneth D. Stevens and visiting artist Frederick L. Olsen.  Carlton’s enthusiasm for clay got me into ceramics.  From Fred I learned many of the techniques I use today.  Ken’s work was what I aspired to.  I created work using clay and glazes like Ken but more importantly, he taught me careful craftsmanship and attention to detail. When I left UPS after 2 years of graduate work, I continued to work in that fashion making decorated porcelain vessels and dinnerware. 

      Over the years there have been periods when I felt the need to make a change in my work.  While still working in porcelain and making basically the same ware, I twice changed glaze effects and dramatically changed the look of the work.  The next change brought me to my present work. 

      I decided that this change needed to be more drastic so I left white porcelain for brown stoneware and chose a very different glaze.  The thought was that this change would allow me the most freedom from my older work. 

      I have developed an interest in the traditional Japanese arts.  My first interest, probably going back to my grandfather’s influence, was in gardens.  This quite easily moved into Ikebana (flower arranging) and then to Chanoyu (tea ceremony) and it’s influence on pottery.  The more I’ve learned about tea, the more I have realized how central the tea aesthetic is to Japanese art. I’ve chosen to make containers for Ikebana.  The requirements for the ikebana vessels are less rigid than for the tea ceremony utensils.  There is a lot of room for personal expression.  I am making a few tea implements trying to learn what it takes to make a good one. 

      As for the technical aspects of what I do, I work in stoneware, primarily, with a little porcelain for a few objects.  The work is fired in a gas kiln to cone 10 (2400o F) in a reduction atmosphere.  Since being invited to participate in their wood kiln firings, I am increasingly firing more work with John Benn and Colleen Gallagher on Hartstine Island, WA. 

      I have made my living as a potter since graduate school.  Since 1996, I have taught a ceramics class each quarter at Tacoma Community College.  This has been a good balance. 


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