While works of art often inspire me, rarely do they affect me with the same consistency and breathtaking impact that nature does. A number of years ago, in a museum in Vienna, I stood facing a wall with a window and several paintings. Interestingly, what most captured my attention in this room full of famous artwork was the view outside - especially the stunning blue of the sky, a blue more brilliant than any of the colors represented in the paintings.
My ceramic work is heavily influenced by nature, but not about recreating its beauty. It is about responding to it. Daily I am flooded with ideas - while going on walks, taking care of my plants, and even just looking out the window.
The result is artwork such as my "Seed Pod" series, which mimics aspects of the sea urchins and chestnut shells that inspired it, but maintains a character distinctly its own. One defining element is the whittled matchsticks that allow me to work with fire in a more intimate and immediate way than is possible with a kiln. Their burnt remains result in creations very different visually than the life forms from which the initial ideas arose.
In working with clay, wood, metal, and fire, I enjoy the interaction with our natural world's mystery and wonder. A more fulfilling experience, in my mind, than would result from attempting to only mirror nature's beauty.