I have been working with clay and firing by the Raku method for over thirty years. I am a graduate of the University of Maryland where I majored in studio art, and where I taught from 1974-1981. I have received grants from the Prince George's Arts Council in 1990 and 1996, from the Maryland State Arts Council in 1991 and 2001, and the Friends of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in 1993. My work has been exhibited, and is in collections throughout the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia. My work has appeared in "Handbuilt Ceramics", and "Surface Decoration for Low-Fire Ceramics", both Lark Books publications; and in "Advanced Raku Techniques", by The American Ceramic Society.
My imagery derives from my interest in oriental art, ethnic clothing, ceremonial robes, and ecclesiastical garments. Although most of my designs seem to have an oriental inspiration, I have not traveled to the orient. I collect books pertaining to these subjects, and have visited many museums to see special exhibits, or their collections. Numerous images have been imprinted on my brain over the years, however, my robes are purely a figment of my imagination. They are a meld of all that has passed in front of my eyes.
I begin with drawings that are transferred to clay. Most of the drawing is etched out using a sgrafitto tool, while some is impressed into the clay using rubber stamps, which are made from my drawings. The clay is then cut into tiles. After bisque firing the tiles are glazed in a painterly manner, combining colors to achieve the depth and shading needed to impart a three dimensional quality. They are then Raku fired. After cleaning, etched lines are filled with gold paint and selected areas of design are covered with gold leaf. A piece of 3/8" plywood is cut in the shape of the robe, and the tiles are attached to it using tile adhesive.