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The softly rounded forms of river stones have been a consistent source of inspiration thoughout my life. I’ve held, examined, stacked, skipped, and frequently taken them home. My journey creating stones out of clay began in the central Idaho mountains. And after nearly 20 years, these ceramic stones continue to be my passion.
Exploring the timeless forces that change stone into clay and then back into stone is the central part of my process. The tectonic and erosional forces that change stone into clay, and then back into stone inform and inspire my work from start to finish. Stratified sediments are compressed into stone and are thrust upward into mountains. Then as the mountains erode, stones break away and begin a journey from the top of the mountain to the valley floor. As the stones tumble down streams, becoming smoothed and polished along the way, the bits and chips that are worn off eventually decompose and become clay sediments. Then the cycle repeats.
At first glance, these simple forms look like stone and driftwood, but when viewed more closely you’ll see there is much more going on. They’re actually wheel-thrown and altered ceramic vessels that quietly celebrate a richly mellow beauty. The emphasis on understated archetypal form tends to invoke individual interpretation. And from reflections on personal experiences to the contemplation of timeless ancient processes, it encourages an examination beyond its perceived use — becoming an invitation to look deeper at its form, surface, and presence.
I’m also influenced by the Zen Buddhist art of finding profound beauty revealed though the patina of time. Journeys, whether in life or in a stream, tend to remove rough edges. Much like the journey of the stone tumbling along the stream, my work mirrors and celebrates the processes and journeys that leave the marks of time. The result is that not only the finished piece but also the process becomes metaphor for the beauty found in life well lived.