Two things my ceramics professor told me have stuck. First, he said, "Ceramics is the most abstract form". That made me consider pottery in terms of line and form rather than function (as a bowl or a plate). It also inspired me to wonder how certain decorating techniques used on pottery such as dipping, pouring, stamping, airbrush and wax resist might translate onto flat canvas. I decided to test my professor's theory about abstraction of ceramics to see if it could be applied to painting.
Some of my first attempts resembled edaborate "spin art": That didn't bother me because it re-ignited childhood awe. It was Picasso who said, "It has taken me my whole life to learn how to paint like a child". As I challenged myself further, I realized that I could break the plane with masking techniques to give the paintings a multidimensional Cubist effect. When the paintings got more sophisticated, the possibilities expanded. I knew I could spend my entire life exploring this radical method without running out of ideas or exhausting the potential. As for my professor, I don't believe any medium is more or less abstract than any other...It's what you do with it. I do believe that the formal elements of ceramics that are considered abstract can successfully be put into painting.
The second thing that my professor said was, "Ceramics is Gods' favorite form of art" The bible makes numerous references to pottery, especially in the Book of Jeremiah. Many other religions also embrace circular symbolism. Mandalic images have been used by Hindu and Buddhist mystics for centuries. There does seem to be something cosmic, spiritual and hypnotic about large spinning circles. I believe that the self-contained unity of the massive sphere can inspire one to that which is whole and that which is true.
My professor and personal mentor in college was Don Ehrlichman, a master potter. I received my bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio. I majored in ceramics, with a minor in painting. The works of art in this show reflect my love for both mediums and the desire to combine the two.