I found a deep interest in pottery while taking pottery classes in college. During the summer of my third year in school I took a very intense summer course in pottery from the Master potter Marquerite Wildenhain. I was so excited by this experience that I Ieft college, took a job driving a taxi, built a pottery wheel, and began to practice what I had learned during that summer in preparation to return and study another summer with her. After that second summer I opened a small studio and began to make pottery full time. Over the next twenty five years until her retirement from teaching, I spent 5 more summers with her. During those years many of the students developed a very close, personal friendship with Marguerite, I am lucky to have been one of those students. She became a friend and mentor to me. I visited and wrote to her often. Caryn and I were married there. Marguerite was our Matron of Honor. Over the past forty plus years of making pottery, my work has gone through many phases, but whatever I was making was influenced by Marguerite’s words which stayed planted in my soul, “ make the best pots you can.”
In the early years in order to pay the rent I made planters. This allowed me time to develop my ideas and experiment in clay on pieces without the pressure of having to sell my explorations.
Then I wet to Chile for a couple of years. In Chile during those years, there were no available packaged pottery supplies in the area where we lived. I was forced to find clay deposits, develop ways to clean the clay to make it useable, create glazes with ash and a few raw materials and build a simple kiln to fire my pots in.
When I came back to the united States. I met Caryn Fried. Together, we designed and made pottery for the wholesale market place. We sold our work to over 100 crafts shops and galleries around the country. This allowed us, with the help of family, a house with almost 4 acres where over the years we have built 3 studios, and gift shop and gallery which is open to the public. We have been at this location for over 20 years. I make a wide variety of pieces, which keeps the creative juices flowing and the process very exciting. I had been painting on pottery for many years before I began painting on canvas. It was sort of a surprise love affair, which began when our daughter was in grammar school She was doing her home work assignments at the kitchen table and I wanted to be around her, participating in some activity, so I set up a painting area in the corner of the kitchen. sometimes when she would take a break we would paint together. i would make a mark, then she would and back and forth until we felt we had a picture. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the process of painting and ultimately set up a painting studio next to our pottery studio.
That was fifteen years ago. When life is flowing perfectly, I paint in my studio every morning for a couple of hours and go out plein air painting on Sundays. It has been a delight to see how the painting has brought many new ideas to my pottery and the pottery to the painting.