When I think back over my life, I cannot remember a time when I did not love all things animal, in particular, the wild animals of Africa. As a child, my room was decorated with wild animals and today my house is decorated with an accumulation of animal artwork that I have collected over the years. Some might say that I am an “animal freak”. I have a particular fondness for giraffes. My senior year in college, I had the opportunity to complete a semester of foreign study in Africa. This was an experience like no other. As we pulled away from the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, we were forced to stop for a herd of giraffe crossing the road. I thought I was in heaven. It was at this point that I knew I would eventually do something with my love of animals.
I am very blessed to be able to pursue my love of animals through the medium of clay. I love finding different ways to bring out the personalities of the animals through different techniques. The majority of my work is handbuilt. I enjoy hand building because I find it relaxing and it is conducive to the way I work. I often find that the piece I am working on starts out as just a simple bowl or platter and ends up very different with giraffes or elephants or polka dots sticking out of it somewhere. I find this evolution process with my pottery fascinating and it is what makes me want to start the next piece.
In the past couple of years, I have been experimenting with underglazes. This has been interesting because the pottery has become a canvas for me to explore a different medium. Having never really taken art classes, I am learning not only the techniques within the pottery world, but also drawing and painting techniques. Although this has been challenging, it has opened a new world to me that has allowed me to bring some color into my work, which I love.
Most recently, I am have been exploring creating wall hangings. Although I enjoy making functional pottery, I have always been drawn to ceramic wall art. I feel that it is a perfect way to showcase animals along with a variety of pottery techniques, and really allows you to explore different surface textures without having to be concerned with the way the piece feels in your hand. I have enjoyed combining these pieces with my new found love of underglazes.