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Thoughts Turning East

From Chinese Koans to the Hindu notions of reincarnation and from Taoism to Zen Buddhism; I have been greatly inspired by Eastern thought. That is not to say that I have a deep understanding of these beliefs nor am I, strictly speaking, a practitioner. Suffice to say that the understandings that I have, had a deep influence on my views of the world and a strong influence my art.


I had a small raku tile in my studio for years. Its strong association to the East limited how I thought I should use it. Because of the pandemic, with antique fairs cancelled and shops closed, I had to rethink the ingredients that I have in my workshop and push to use them in new directions.


Letting this tile “guide” me, I created Ichi (Japanese for “one” or “first”). Rather than using the dark stains that I usually use in my work, I let the lighter wood and signs of wear guide me. The dovetail corner of a box, flattened out,had such a beautiful texture. This Asian aesthetic is a very different direction for me. When I have tried to do this before, a kind of minimalism, I found it to be as difficult as building some of my most complex Foundlings.


I am not sure I will be able to continue in this direction but when a piece whispers to me, all I can do is follow it.



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