My first clay experiences were as a very young child, digging clay from the lakebed and creating pots on the seawall. I attended Cranbrook Kingswood Highschool on scholarship and studied under Robert Klein, once making green tiles to replace the worn Pewabic ones in the art deco Green Lobby. In college I began to ‘throw big’ with Terry Emerick in the now defunct L.C.C. studio and I worked for him at ‘The Good Earth’ studio in Williamston finishing pieces. I started ‘Kerry Noir, Porcelain Adornments’ and used these small pieces to explore colorants, torch finishes (appears like raku) and the boundaries of porcelain. For a year and a half, I worked in Chicago as a production manager for Whitehead Studios creating custom tile installations, then returned to Michigan to work for Woodard Furniture on their Provençal line of tile tables, firing them in my garage studio while my son took his nap.
I am fascinated by the geometry of clay and the artist’s choice to take it anywhere from the flat openness of tile to the inclusive roundness of vessels. Additionally, I celebrate the ancient significance of the potter’s work as one of the defining characteristics of civilization. My thrown pieces are functional, intended for the cook and gardener, to contain their work. My slab and tile pieces are simple, letting form alone express purpose. I joined Clayworks in 2000, taking a several year hiatus to attain my teaching Master’s degree. Here, the various firing choices, especially the Wood Kiln, excite me. Feeding the flames that harden the pots is an almost spiritual practice!
I continue to teach in the public school- my favorite lessons being those with clay. My quiet time at the wheel is my chance to focus and center, and explore the artist’s choice of direction.