The past 30 years have passed quickly since I signed up for my first beginning hand building class. I earned my MFA in drawing, but have always been interested in sculpture. The first time I touched clay, I made the most AWFUL pinch pot, but fell quite in love with the tactile possibilities of clay. I consider myself a hand builder who also loves the wheel; both disciplines inform and enhance each other.
I began taking clay classes at Roswell Visual Arts Center in 1998, with figurative sculptor Debra Fritts. Although I am more of an abstract object artist, Debra’s generosity and inspiration made me a better sculptor. I followed her to Art Center West and found a home. AJ Argentina makes it an easy place to love. I have been at ACW for over 14 years, at least 13 of them as a devoted apprentice. The sense of community we have at ACW is our strongest asset, and keeps me here.
In my own work I find inspiration in all things imperfect. I like work that shows its history; gesture, fingerprints, scratches, layers of color and process. Nature is not perfect and I love the honesty, integrity and sincerity of handmade ceramics.
The satisfaction I feel as an instructor comes in those moments when students demonstrate the skills and confidence to pursue their own ideas and create truly original work. Having a part in the process of their learning to achieve that work is an honor.
Our growing artistic community is welcoming, supportive and honest, and that is the best part of what makes Art Center West our creative sanctuary.