Working creatively allows me to mold a world to suit myself, or to express the way I see it. It’s mine, yet I want it to speak to viewers and readers in such a way that they have to decide if they see it the same way. When I threw pots, I used a kick wheel because I believed it gave me an instant connection to the process that inserting electricity prevented. Head, hands, clay. Sculpture is direct in that same way. In writing fiction, I use a #2 pencil and paper for the same reason. Head, hand, pencil, paper. Both allow me to center myself in the creation, which I hope reveals my intentions more clearly.
I am a ceramic sculptor and author who came to both late in life. I had tried several visual media, but never liked the results… Until I put my hands on the silky surface of clay. From pots to sculpture, I most often depict the human figure, including busts on commission. I’ve studied sculpture with Paul Lucchesi, Stanley Bleifeld, Peter Rubino, Eugene Daub, and Janis Mars Wunderlich. One of my pieces was named Best in Show at the Cynthia Bickey Gallery in Beckley, WV, in 2011. As an author, I’ve written fiction and non-fiction, magazine articles, essays and a biography. My first novel was named a category finalist for Book of the Year in 2003 by ForeWord Magazine. I’ve been thrilled to receive a Tamarack Foundation Fellowship Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in 2013, the 2014 Literary Merit Award from the West Virginia Library Association, a Distinguished Alumni from Marshall University in 2015, and the Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2016.
My studies include:
“Head Talk,” Debra Fritts, Mudfire Studio, Atlanta, GA, 2010.
“Sculpting Inside Out,” Arthur Gonzalez, Mudfire Studio, Atlanta, GA, 2009.
“Dreaming in Clay with Metal,” Lisa Clague, Mudfire Studio, Atlanta, GA, 2008.
“Gropius Workshop,” Janis Mars Wunderlich, Huntington Museum of Art, 2008.
“Enriching the Figure,” Adrian Arleo, Mudfire Studio, Atlanta, GA, 2008.
“Handbuilding Large Sculpture,” Kathleen Kneafsey, Huntington Muesum of Art, 2007.
“Modeling the Portait in Clay,” Paul Lucchesi, Loveland Academy of Fine Art, Loveland, CO, 2001.
“Clay Portraits,” Stanley Bleifeld, Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach FL, 2001.
“The Portrait In Clay,” Peter Rubino, Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL, 2001.
“Expressive Portraiture in Sculpture,” Eugene Daub, Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL, 2000.
“Figurative Sculpture in Full Scale,” Stephen Perkins, Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL, 2000.
“Figurative Sculpture,” Rob Giordano, Longboat Key Center for the Arts, Longboat Key, FL, 1999-2000.
Other Creative Skills