Growing up with a dad who is a geologist was exciting. He would bring home rocks, old glass bottles and tin cans for us to see from the mines and excavation sites. Sometimes, we would get to go along. We would spend the day digging around in the dirt for lost treasures (mostly shiny rocks, broken green and purple glass bottles and other remnants of past mining camp civilization). I was fascinated by all the items we found, but what I paid attention to the most was the various rock formations surrounding me. The striations in the bedrock, the elegance of stalactite and stalagmites and sparkle of crystal formations and geodes embedded themselves in my mind. Unknowingly it was the clay between my fingers and toes, as I helped my father dig, that would foreshadow my future with ceramics.
Other times, I couldn’t accompany my dad on his digs because he would need to be away for a few days. On one of his extended trips, he traveled to Magdalena de Kino, Mexico with an associate. In Magdalena was a beautiful Mission Church that his friend would journey to say a prayer for his family. The plaza around the church had little shops full of beautiful trinkets. While admiring the beauty of the Kino Church (as it was named and founded by Father Kino), my dad browsed the local shops and found these beautiful little handmade dolls in a little yellow painted box. He was told they were called worry dolls and inside the box was a little piece of paper with the story of the little dolls. It read, "If you have a problem, then share it with a worry doll. Before going to bed, tell one worry to each doll, then place them beneath your pillow. Whilst you sleep, the dolls will take your worries away!" Throughout my childhood, the little box of dolls sat by my bed keeping me company. This myth became an integral part of my current sculptural work.
Artistically I have not limited myself to one form or technique in art, however I have kept the core of my work being clay. I work with both functional pottery and mixed media sculptures and draw from a variety of techniques to create pieces that are intended for interaction. My pottery designs are practical, functional and encourage use. While my sculptures engage the viewer to forge a relationship between the piece and their own worries, thoughts, memories, fears, hopes or dreams.
Drawing inspiration from the earth and blending it with my desert background along with the elegance of Japanese form; my functional pieces are created with the softest and richest clay, porcelain, accented with delicate color. They are not only practical but encourage everyday use. By approaching every piece as an experiment I keep my mind inquisitive and my hands active, making the process itself an instrument for a meditative look within myself and the world around me. The depth of surface created by the translucent properties of porcelain and the way clay, slip, and glaze interact with each other create an interesting tension between the surface that not only demand my attention, but that of the viewer and future owner.
While making use of finger marks, tooling lines, slip trailing and coloring, and marks from handling and firing. I am interested in how the design elements (line, shape, texture, value, and color) give the pot “life” and create function through simplicity. The pieces I make are intended to be interacted with; they are made to be put out on the table and used. Fulfillment comes in the enjoyment people express when handling and using a piece I have created for them.
As the environment around me affects me, my sculptures have taken a deeper turn in how I view the world and how certain things affect me. Through the fusion of the fluidity of clay and various fibers techniques such as weaving and fabric manipulation I created worries of my own, intimate pieces that engage the viewer and form a relationship between them. I have strived to create unique and individual pieces that convey diverse feelings and emotions. While these “Worries” are shaped and fashioned from my own experiences throughout my own life, I want the pieces create their own bond with the viewer. I want them to arouse memories of the past, present, and future, or engage emotions like sadness, pleasure, envy, uncertainty, and even childhood memories. I invite viewers to form a personal relationship with the sculptures
Tell these dolls your secret wishes. Tell them your problems. Tell them your dreams. And when you awake, you may find the magic within you to make your dreams come true.