My work is largely informed by the process by which I make it. I try to rely on the skill I have in the moment of making and accept what my state of mind brings to it. My cardinal rule is not to overwork a pot, but rather to throw it or assemble it with freshness and candor. If a tear develops, I patch it with a band-aid of clay; if a pot is accidentally dented, it becomes another thing that defines its character. There is great pleasure in understanding a pot’s history of making.
At Alfred as an undergrad, I developed a process called “dry throwing” in which I trim to center using a pin tool, scoop out the inside using a loop tool and thin out the walls by pushing them out with a rib. I use no water because I like the surface of moist clay, rather than wet. This method allows me to preserve the inherent textures in clay that I love- the stretching, cracking, and sagging. Fingerprints have a different kind of crispness and I can coax out a delicate edge of a line on a massive wall. Using this method, I can also work more spontaneously and intuitively because I don’t have to wait for the clay to dry out quite so long. When I glaze, I try to keep up the same level of spontaneity and intuition so I can keep things real. I’ve found that if I set up 100 cups to glaze at once, my exhaustion and desperation at coming up with new ideas and variations pushes me to take risks and grow.