I am a maker.
At the moment I am in Texas, filling my days as an artist in residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and teaching ceramics at both the Glassell School of Art and Houston Community College. This past summer was a member of the studio staff at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine. I received my BFA from Buffalo State College in 2008, and completed my MFA at Kansas State University in 2011.
I have spent most of my life in the rural parts of western New York State, and my permanent residence is an old barn that I share with my husband and son, nine miles from the closest town. At various points in my life I have raised dairy goats, served as my town historian, made the rounds of the craft fair circuit, waited tables, was part of a local theatre troupe and ran an organic food co-op.
I am an organizer and community builder, and enjoy the processes of bringing people, ideas, and opportunities together to create a greater whole. This has lead to my involvement with community arts organizations that include the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, the Kansas Artist Craftsmen Association, the Cattaraugus County Arts Council, Kansas Arts for Japan and many others. Small gestures do make a difference, and lead to larger opportunities.
I am interested in the conceptual implications of multiple forms and the re-interpretation of discarded materials. Slip casting multiples has strong parallels to the loss of individuality that the global economy and the use of virtual communications bring to our lifestyles. More and more the elements of our every day lives are machine made parts that can be purchased and used all over the world. From our laptops and cell phones to our clothing and household goods, the majority of the items that we come in contact with on a daily basis are mass-produced by anonymous workers in a far off country. Uniformity and a lack of unique and identifiable characteristics is just one facet of the rapid industrialization of our planet.
Incorporating found materials as a counterpoint to the re-interpreted objects creates visual and contextual contradictions in my work. Knitted acrylic doilies act not only as a physical counterpoint to the smooth porcelain in material, color and form, but also create a conceptual contrast with their references to handicraft, nostalgia and an era when the internet, cell phones and mass production did not exist. Bright orange construction barrier speaks of grids, networks and modernity while adding a strong formal element to the work. I repurpose the geometric forms found in bulk egg cartons, fruit box cushions, and other discarded materials. Using these waste objects I build constructs that speak to the concept of disposability within our society.