Let me begin with a favorite quote of mine from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert R. Persig
“So the thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one’s self from one’s surroundings. When that is done successfully then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.”
Entering the home of any potter (or of those who collect pots), you will inevitably find shelves and cabinets filled with objects that document a potter’s journey. Each bowl, jar or mug, reflects a level of values, thoughts and actions that are captured in clay and locked in time by fire. Good pots don’t happen naturally nor easily. They are a reflection of a potter’s life-long devotion to a path in clay.
My journey began in 1978 while attending Saint Johns University in central Minnesota. I was originally interested in painting but after taking a ceramics class, drawn to clay. It simply felt right. In 1981, I had a opportunity to travel to central France and worked in the historic pottery village of La Borne. It was there I had my first experience firing wood-burning kilns. I was immediately seduced by the process and results from these kilns. Returning home in 1983, I sought an apprenticeship with Todd Piker at the, Cornwall Bridge Pottery and in 1988, moved to Wisconsin where I established the foundation for my first kiln.