After being on the farm for 5 years, I recently discovered massive quantities of naturally occurring clay in my own back yard. A beautiful and rich red color comes from large amounts of iron in the clay. When it oxidizes it turns the whole clay its trademark rust color. Nothing added to the clay, nothing taken out but pebbles.
Of all the works I create, I find myself using my end tables more than anything else. They have become my favorite place to take a seat, display my plants, and use as any other table space could be used. Inspiration for these came from the walnut stools iconic designers Charles and Ray Eames designed, produced by Herman Miller. They can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes, often custom fit for a particular space.
I often joke, “This is not something I would do in front of my mother.” In all reality, any liquid hit with the physics of centrifugal force will thin the material as it widens. Molten materials are no different. With the vast experience in extreme heat and the safety required with it, I have used molten aluminum, bronze, and glass on my every-day pottery wheels. After many trials between friends and myself, I have found there is truly incredible potential. Glass and bronze sinks spun on the wheel are his future ambitions with this process.
On several different occasions I have worked with food giant Kellogg to create limited edition gifts for dietitians. Starting with an order for 60 bowls, they were quickly made and delivered. In the days following, I received a phone call asking for, “a few more.” The “few” they meant, was 70 more.
Over 200 works later, I have unofficially become the potter for the company. Giving presentations on his work at the world headquarters, and working on two different custom orders with the company. The next event with Kellogg is to participate in their annual, “Worlds Longest Breakfast Table” during the Cereal Festival in June. Demonstrating my wheel techniques to the 65,000 visitors.
In 2007 I purchased my dream property. 5 acres, 5 barns, a house, orchards, and plenty of pasture. With no farming experience, I saw the potential of building my own art producing playground. More studio space than an artist could ever hope for, in an unparallelled setting. At the time I had no idea the entire property contained incredibly useful clay. In 2013 I began large scale excavation and processing of my Back Yard Clay and continue to making work with it.
The farm has 2 buildings devoted to ceramics, and one devoted to glass blowing. Over 70 pear trees, 20 apple trees, and an annual 40-something lamb reside on the property.
Interests in working with different materials has taken a tasty turn with my latest adventure.
Collaborating with Cookies On Call in Saugatuck, MI, I will be throwing cookie dough, chocolate, cream cheese, and other food items in an attempt to create fun serving “containers” for special events. This photo is indeed…. cookie dough.