Most of my work is exploring the human condition, as expressed in the human form. I believe that our physical selves are shaped by the same forces that shape personality and character. The body becomes testimony — what we have experienced, who we are and even what we may become.
When I put my hands in clay to create a figure, I work deeply from my own inner senses of body and feeling. The pose must feel significant to my kinesthetic sense. I tap emotional sources beneath my intellectual mind, and the figures that emerge often have more honesty and nuance than any conscious expectation I may have had.
After bisque, I often finish my figures using the atmospheric method of pit-firing — burying and then burning them in sawdust in a trench in the ground. The ceramic “skins” of my pieces take on rich, earthy creams, grays, browns and blacks. The figures emerge vulnerable and introspective, but I also believe that they capture strength and resilience — all universal components of the human spirit.
In contrast to my figures, my protest works have strong, overt messages. I use an ancient public monument form — the Greco-Roman stela — combining an inscribed slab with sculpture to embody the message. These pieces express my anger at how our country and world allow terrible problems to continue: modern slavery and exploitation, species loss, income inequality, racism, refugee crises, and caging immigrant children. This series — currently seven stelae — is ongoing, because there is so much work in the world yet to be done.