I grew up on an orchard in rural Indiana and spent many hours high on a ladder picking apples, peaches and plums under an autumn sky. I have vivid memories of wandering through the orchard running my hand over the knotty apple tree trunks, picking wildflowers and looking for plants and berries to dry or bird nests to collect. The glaze colors and stains that I use in my work bring back those memories - the sky blues, the earth browns and ochres, the leaf yellows, ivories and greens. My clay nests are made from actual finch nests I find in the blackberry bushes at the orchard edge. The leaves and vines curling through the edges of my platters and sculptural pieces remind me of the wild milkweed vine twisting through the apple branches after the harvest. My frosty clay leaves recreate the memories of those last few leaves clinging to the trees on a cold, November day.
I like to sculpt leaves and vines into my pottery as it reminds me of the scriptural passage from John that tells us Christ is our vine and we are his branches. (John 15:5) I believe that nature is reflective of its Creator and the use of natural elements in art and design will always remind us of Him.