Twenty years after taking my first ceramics class in college I’m still just as compelled and excited by this material as I was back then. Working in ceramics has allowed me to travel internationally to meet and work with some of the most inspiring creative minds out there. Back in 2005 I obtained my graduate degree from the Australian National University. I currently live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan working in a home based studio creating both functional objects and a line of figurative sculpture. Due to workaholic tendencies and a passion for community I’ve been the editor of Musing about Mud for over ten years, have brought together groups like Make and Do ceramics to highlight the wealth of creative ceramics here in Canada, traveled to teach workshops, give talks, exhibit work, and basically don’t say no to anything clay related that is worth promoting and getting involved with. All of which makes me happier then I ever imagined.
Artist Statement – Functional Ceramics
It’s simple really, I like to make things that make people smile. I want to be a maker of objects that through their imagery, evoke nostalgia, innocence and love. Perhaps sometimes a greater narrative or story is lurking in the images sometimes not. Within the whirlwind of a busy life with two young children, my functional ceramics have evolved towards contemporary narrative representations and whimsy. From books and their elaborate illustrative art, to my children’s drawings and imaginations I find inspiration all around me. The reward of this work for me is that young and old find happiness though the work and its engagement with nostalgia, familiar imagery, and an ability to perhaps see themselves represented in the handmade objects that they use.
Beyond the simplicity of the work is lurking a desire to create sustainable objects in a world hell bent on disposability and consumerism. I hope to redefine for an audience how they engage with everyday objects and I wish to contribute to a dialogue of how even functional work can be political and socially minded.
Artist Statement – Sculptural Ceramics
In the last twelve years my artistic practice has centered around figurative sculpture. I work primarily in clay, but also incorporate found materials and objects in my work. My figurative sculptures are based on traditional kitsch collectibles and are a statement regarding contemporary society, mass consumption, media propaganda and global events.
I also joke that my current work can be summed up as being about diapers and death. Overly simplistic as that might sound it’s reasonable accurate. My art has always reflected my life. Inspiration comes from that which is closest to me so I speak to these global narratives through personal means. I am currently sandwiched in between young children and retired parents, grasping to try to make sense of things and realizing that none of us really know what we’re doing. We make it up along the way and our failures have the potential to lead us towards paths of success should we chose to learn from them.