I have always considered myself an artist. From crayon drawings to Play-Do sculptures, I began my creative explorations at an early age. Classroom valentines and birthday invitations were always handmade with colorful paper and marker drawn lettering. I continue to create handmade cards for every holiday to this day. But my real passion was found when I took my first pottery class in college. Once my hands were in clay, I knew I was an art major! I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. As my life continued, I got away from clay, went back to school, and became an elementary school teacher in 2005. After several years in the classroom and a move to Missouri, I decided to get back into clay. In 2014, I set up my ceramic studio with a kiln, a wheel, and a fervent desire for a career in art. That spring, I participated in my first few craft shows and, by the summer, was juried into my first art show. I continue to work in my St. Charles studio, while teaching art classes, showing in galleries, and submitting to art shows throughout the year. Follow my work at heARTheARTstudios.com.
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About Our Art
Inspiration comes to me in a variety of spaces: thick forest trails, sandy coastlines, wildflower-filled meadows, and rocky outcroppings. The common thread is a closeness with nature. Combinations of colors, detailed patterns, and organic forms come out in my ceramic art. While wading along riverbeds, I fill my pockets with rocks, admiring the smoothness, textures, and tones. This is where the idea of my ceramic stones was born.
Each stone is formed in the palm of my hand, then individually designed with freestyle carvings and patterns. These ceramic stones are fully glazed to promote the smooth, tangible quality found in the natural world. I expand on this unique clay carving technique, creating organic hanging and free-standing sculptures. I enjoy hand building with pinch pots, coils and slabs. Through these techniques of hand building, I allow the clay some freedom to create more organic shapes. I try to mimic the forms found in nature where edges have been sculpted, smoothed, and rounded by the elements.
The elements have such a significant impact on the clay body, from the earth and water of the clay to the fire and air of the kiln. All the patterns, textures, designs, and glaze color combinations are permanently recorded on the surface of the clay in my finished stoneware piece.
I utilize a wide variety of glazes and fire all my ceramic art in electric kilns at my St. Charles studio. Each piece is an original, handmade design. Many patterns and designs are sketched out before working with the clay. My ceramic art adds unique character to any home and garden while echoing nature’s elements.