I grew up in Thunder Bay and was introduced to clay playing on the beaches of Black Bay in Dorion where our family had a summer cottage. The sticky grey clay was used to form crude pots which would be left to dry and crack in the sun and used in clay fights in the shallows. Later in high school I was immediately drawn to pottery when it was offered as a medium in the art room. My grandfather helped me build a potter's wheel and gradually I picked up basic skills. I continued to pursue ceramics through a fine arts program at Lakehead University and set up my first studio in 1986.
After 30 years of working in clay, function continues to be the basis for most of my ideas as a potter. I like that pottery is experienced both as a visual as well as a physical thing appreciated in the context of use, not something that just sits on a shelf. I would even argue that we do not fully appreciate a pot unless we are able to handle and use it.
I continue to work at a potters wheel, working in series of cups, bowls, or plates. This process helps me explore variations on a form and refine the original idea. Typically, new ideas emerge slowly out of the day to day making cycle.
My partner Vivian and I spend summers at our Rossport home and I work out of my Island studio perched on the rim of Lake Superior. I collaborate with Viv on some platters and mugs, where she creates the surface imagery. The view to open water and nearby islands is wide and always in the background. It encourages a feeling of expanse. Images from life in the boreal forest and the lake regularly find their way on to my work in one way or another. The wood fired Japanese climbing kiln I built in 1997 is used 2 or 3 times a year. I also have a studio in Thunder Bay where I fire with a gas kiln.
What I love about clay and what keeps me going as a potter, are the seemingly endless possibilities of the material and the direct engagement with the moment.