View my full portfolio here:
I got started working in Ceramics when I was a sophomore at Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.
My passion and love for ceramics was fueled by three people during my early days of learning to throw and create art.
I remember vividly that first day of class. Our teacher, Bob Mogilniki had such a passion for the arts, especially ceramics. His energy was infectious and he created such a positive vibe in the studio that you had no choice but to sit down at the wheel and create. He would describe the slurry bucket as the cradle of life and bacteria that gave the clay it’s soul. The foul smell, was not awful… it was to be revered! Raku firing was not about the smoke and fire but about harnessing the Earth’s core to fuel the furnace of the gods to transform your piece from clay to art.
Bob took our entire class under his wing and really become not only an instructor, but also a friend and confidant to us all. Ask him today and he’ll rattle off all the names of the class of ’93.
My good friend and roommate John Buckley was one of the most talented potters/artists in our school. Our senior year, he created a huge chess set where the kings stood at least four-feet tall and the knights used cast heads from toy rocking horses. He left the chess set at Tabor for a few years after graduation where it was used in Tabor’s Senior garden area and was featured in the academic catalog. I saw what John could do, and it pushed me to try harder and take chances in my own art.
My other good friend, Alex Turner, who I met at Tabor, would become my roommate in college, and later my best-man, also pushed me to expand my ceramics. During our junior and senior years at the University of New Hampshire we practically lived at the clay studio. We worked independently but would see what the other was making or throwing and try to out do each other. If Alex threw a harvest vase, I’d throw a platter. If I threw a platter, Alex would try to make a bigger one. We became proficient on kick wheels, because we could always get one rather than wait to use an electric wheel. On any given weekend afternoon, we would takeover practically the whole studio with the amount of pots that we would be working on. Art knows no bounds!
I think my passion for art and graphic design is a direct spin-off from my experiences in ceramics. The ability to plan a design, sit down and create it out of thin air is very similar to throwing pots. I find that I use similar skills to visualize a project that I do when I visualize a vessel ahead of time. The process of viewing not only the space that is occupied by the clay, but also the negative space around the pot as it rotates on the wheel is a practiced art. Ceramics has really trained my mind to look at design from an artistic standpoint and has trained my work habits to view projects in the necessary stages for completion. Wedging the clay, centering it on the wheel, creating the form, drying it slowly, trimming/finishing a piece while it’s still workable, firing, glazing, firing it again. Graphic design works in a very similar manner when breaking down a project timeline.
Over the past six years I was fortunate to be able to throw pots at Boulder Mountain Clayworks studio. I was able to throw from 2007-2013 and really enjoyed the other artists. If you’re ever in Ketchum, stop by the studio and check it out. I hope that I can find time in the near future to explore ceramics up here in the Flathead Valley next fall.
Until then, here is a sample of some of my work ranging from 1996-2013.