I read the news or hear it on tv and I feel frustrated and moved to do something. One of the things I know how to do is work in clay and create figures. I represent social issues in general, or individual people who suffer, or who I see as heroes. Firing the clay makes the images more permanent than fleeting news headlines. I am inspired by Romanesque and medieval European sculpture and by peaceful Buddha images.
I went to a Polish catholic school and bumped into statues of saints at every corner. I went to college during the war in Viet Nam. Slogans and banners became part of my vocabulary. I often scratch and paint words, whole stories, or admonitions on the surface of my figures. I hope to represent people who suffer and carry on in dignity in a more permanent way than fleeting news stories.
I build the pieces from a heavy sculpture clay with coils, from the bottom up. I color the clay with engobes, oxides and muted glaze colorants, I carve, scratch, write, rub out, rewrite, and layer the surface texture. I fire the pieces in an electric kiln to 2300 degrees.
I hope to draw viewers in with idealized beauty and familiar iconography and hold interest with contemporary statements.