I love color and I love pattern. I am an avid quilter, bead artist and spent many years decorating Ukrainian eggs, known as Pysanky. I wanted to use the aesthetic of a Pysanky egg in a functional piece of art by translating designs to the concave surface of a bowl, the flat surface of a plate, and finally back to the egg shaped outside curve of a bowl. The order and symmetry of a geometric pattern has always drawn and intrigued me and the rhythmic application of dots calms and centers me. I work on unfired clay that starts out grey, I mark it with pencil, then I decorate with commercial underglazes in small squeeze bottles. When I fire my work, the clay turns from grey to white and the colors become more vibrant. It is magical opening that first kiln firing! The pieces are then coated with a clear food safe glaze and fired again.
I recently began using the imagery of crows in my work, I’m enjoying using their silhouettes as another way to see and explore patterning. We have many crow visitors in our backyard, I love hearing them talk to each other. Limiting myself to black and white has been an exercise in seeing things in only “black and white”. I have also been working with the theme of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, a holiday from Mexico that has been gaining popularity in the United States. I enjoy designing sugar skull imagery on my platters and bowls.
You can read more about my process in the article I wrote for Pottery Making Illustrated in the July/August 2017 issue. https://ceramicartsnetwork.org/pottery-making-illustrated/article/zen-glazing/<