I like garage sales and flea markets. You never know what you'll find. Hand--carved wood pieces, old tools and toys, hand-woven baskets, rusty pails, multicolor furniture; the tops layer of paint worn away with time and use, the underlying colors peaking through. I like things that have character; things that look well used and suggest they may have been handed down from one person to another, mother to daughter, father to son. Simple, sometimes primitive, often made by hand, decorated using whatever materials were available. These pieces make me feel calm and peaceful because they remind me of tradition, continuity, durability, solidity and endurance.

I grew up in a Chicago suburb. It was being built about the same time I was born so everything around me was new. New houses, new schools, new shopping centers, new lawns, no trees. I liked it when we visited my grandmother in the city because her neighborhood had a sense of history, old houses and lots of big trees, a corner store run by the same family for years. I remember the linoleum floor in my grandmother's kitchen. It was so worn in places that the pattern was disappearing and the black backing showed through.

When I began making bowls in 1993 I knew I wanted them to look old, well used and well loved, as if they had been around a long time. The first bowls I made were primitive, misshapen, bumpy and lumpy, but they are among my favorites. Some of my bowls seem tribal in nature, relics from a past civilization, perhaps aboriginal or African or Native American. When I look at them I feel a connection to the past, to ancient ancestors, to cultures different and less complicated than the one in which I was raised. I have always longed for a deeper spiritual connection to the world in which I live and the bowls help me feel that connection. Bowls are an essential part of every civilization, used for gathering and collecting, cooking, eating and drinking, and religious celebrations. What is more fundamental than a bowl?



The methods I use to make the bowls today were inspired by an art project I did as a kid. It involved applying many layers of colored crayons to a piece of paper followed by a final coat of black crayon. I then scratched through the top layer to reveal all the colors hiding underneath. It fascinated me. I still get that same thrill when I work on a bowl today. I apply layer after layer of paint, some thick - some thin, and then sand or scrape away the top layers to reveal textures and colors underneath. I think of this technique as intentionally unintentional or accidental art. Sometimes I'm very deliberate in the colors I choose. Other times my choices are more random and experimental. These experimental combinations are often the most beautiful. I let the qualities of the bowls reveal themselves to me.