What Art Is… What Is Art…
Puget Sound in background
My love affair with clay began in the early 1970’s as an undergraduate art student at a small Midwest liberal arts college. Counterculture influences and my farm boy background combined to make a career in pottery an appealing synthesis of practicality, art, and craft husbandry. Beth Kirchhoff, my wife of 37 years, is a musician (pianist, accompanist, chorus master). We enjoy comparing the similarities of our chosen careers. The respect, understanding and interpretation of traditional forms (pottery or music) are clear priorities for each of us.
The beginnings of pottery go hand in hand with the beginnings of humankind. Of contemporary crafts, only basket making is as fundamental. The shapes of pottery are the shapes of the human body, and are named such: lip, foot, shoulder. They are shapes we know very well on a level beneath our consciousness.
My forms are extensions of traditional pottery with contemporary variations. They are strong, sleek and sculptural with a bold painterly surface and rich glaze treatment. The pieces have a dynamic impact when viewed from a distance as well as an intensity of detail up close. Form and Function drew me to pottery, but painting has been an increasingly important part of my work. My best pots resolve the difficulty of painting in three dimensions, while maintaining the integrity of the form. My intent is to produce works of art for everyday living. It functions practically, as tableware for company and everyday use, or aesthetically, hung on the wall or as a stand-alone art piece.