At University of Colorado I studied with Betty Woodman who had a major impact on the way I made my work and developed my ideas over the years. Betty uses clay in a way that breaks the boundaries of what can be done with ceramics. Her use of the wheel, altering and assembling parts has inspired the way I have made my work for the last 25 years. Betty also references many different cultures and yet her work is completely contemporary.
With Betty I discovered Greek pots particularly Minoan vessels with their swelling bodies and wonderful sense of proportion. I also discovered George E. Ohr’s gutsy, eccentric work that was firmly rooted in function. His delicate wheel thrown and altered pieces and his fluid, crazy use of handles on vases thrilled me. All of these early influences still play a role in the work I make to this day.
Later during my first visit to Portugal in 1992 I bought a tulipier and began using it regularly. I found that whenever flowers were placed in it, fanned out as they were, the vase and the flowers both took on another life. The flowers were beautiful and the arrangement made an impact wherever it was placed. I liked the idea of the pot dictating the way the flowers were placed and the affect it had on the viewer and the room. This idea of the placement of the flowers determined by the vase still influences my work.