in connection with exhibit at Lenox Artisans Gallery Lenox, Mass. 2003
It's been a long journey. I discovered that I could sculpt, in 1979, when I took a class with preeminent California sculptor and virtuoso instructor Ted Odza-- at Laney College in Oakland, California; and the rest is history...
At that point I didn't care about going to school. All I wanted to do when I had the time was to sculpt. But, I was accepted at the University of California at Berkeley and could go there on a grant so I took advantage of the opportunity and was glad I did. Also-- I was intrigued by the fact that one of the instructors in the Art Department was internationally known sculptor Peter Voulkos. Pete describes his attitude about teaching in an article in the 1996 issue of Clay Times-- "Teaching was a very important part of my life. Teaching people how to think. You can't make decisions unless you have a feeling of freedom... you watch me, and something rubs off. That's the way I taught." That suited me fine, since I really didn't want or need instruction at that time. I had my own direction early on as a ceramic sculptor. I needed him for the encouragement that I derived from contact with him. His words about my work, for example, "that's fantastic!" were an important motivating factor.
I graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art and exhibited my work in many shows over the years- in California and New York, mostly around Northern California, and have received various awards for my sculpture.
I met the very accomplished and acclaimed sculptor and master carver, Ishmael Rodriguez, in California in 1980, and he taught me how to carve stone. I didn't give stone a lot of attention in the 1980's. The technical aspect was difficult, although I learned the basic skills. After awhile, in the 90's, I became totally involved with the medium, and took off with it. I taught myself everything necessary to make progress. The piece displayed in the show, "My Name is Aura; Spatial Rhythm," was done many years after my initial introduction to stone, in the 80's, and I see it as representing a more mature period. It was the result of a great need to be challenged and a desire to meet that challenge. The piece is symbolic of a deeper reality-- a spiritual path that can be ascertained if only we slow down--stop to think and feel and reflect --about what life reveals using the 'third eye.'
In 1987 I took a class in bronze casting at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California where I learned mold making and how to work with wax and metal. Aside from the casting, I did all the metal work on the bronze sculptures displayed-- some of the hardest work I've ever done. But, it was worth it (electric cutters, grinders-- chiseling, filing, sanding, etc.).
When I returned to stone carving it felt so easy in comparison I had a feeling of carving "butter." All the bronze sculptures were born of clay in their beginning formation and were transformed into what we called, in the class, "gold."
I began with clay and always saw myself as a ceramic sculptor. However, I can no longer define myself in what's become a narrow definition. My work as an artist embodies explorations which extend my vision into many mediums i.e. bronze, marble, alabaster, cement, etc., and my vision is not confined by the medium. I plan to explore the formal possibilities of wood, and new, unfamiliar regions of creativity.
The Artist's Bio.. in the words of the artist