Having been a graphic designer for many years, I found many of the same skills are needed in pottery. I didn’t get a degree in ceramics. I learned all about balance, proportion, and color in my graphics education and practice. The knowledge transfers well between paper and clay and I see shapes, profiles and compositions in a decidedly graphic way.
My first experience with clay was in high school. Luckily, my school had a good pottery class and kiln. After design school and many years of graphics jobs, pottery was largely forgotten, but I felt a need to work in a purer artistic way. After finding a ceramic studio, I took a class. It was during that class that I decided to commit to clay; learn more — develop skills and ideas. My ideas come fast now. I sketch more than I have in years. My skills, well, the more I seem to grow—the more I realize how much I need to learn.
Now I am working entirely with handbuilt, mostly slab, construction. Having had the opportunity to fire in both high fire reduction and the mid-range oxidation kilns, I am concentrating on cone 6 oxidation firing.
I am deeply influenced by modern design. Modern—as in the original post WWII way. Optimistic,organic, with no obvious ancestry in traditional forms. I believe that the original modernism is not retro or vintage; it’s still viable. Clean lines and strong graphic qualities are timeless.