I have lived in Kentucky long enough to call myself a native. Though I have lived in other parts of the country, I keep coming back to these gentle, rolling hills. My travels have led to me to some exciting places and I have met some extraordinary people. As I have battled depression, the urge to isolate myself was sometimes overwhelming and I moved to new places as a way of coping. One of the ways I was finally able to manage depression was with gardening. I grew the most breathtaking Oriental lilies and colorful zinnias in mass to attract fluttering butterflies and little hummingbirds. In the darkest times, these gardens were a light for me and I would find myself going out early each morning to see if there were any new flowers coming up or blooming. When I started working with ceramics, my knowledge and passion for flora carried over into my work as I delved into different techniques, such as sgraffito, mishima, and altering my thrown pieces. I made small lidded chopstick jars that were about three to four inches in height, as well as three tiered stacked jars, averaging around fifteen inches tall. Each of these pieces have had some aspects of the garden environment added to them.
Recent work is begun with mid-range firing earthenware or high fire porcelain and then I use under-glazes to create a garden-like atmosphere on each piece. Working with porcelain allows me to apply color freely and I truly appreciate the solid, pristine canvas the smooth, white clay provides. When I add colors to my pieces, I am emulating the peonies, asters, and roses that were once in my gardens. Using clay in this fashion is akin to planting a seed for me. When I begin a new piece it is with the hope that this piece of artwork will be a light to someone else who may need it, much like my former gardens were for me.