Meet The Artist
I have always had a fascination with Japanese arts and culture. When I finished my Master of Arts degree in ceramics at Northern Illinois University and was presented with the opportunity to go to Japan and experience Japanese culture firsthand, it seemed a dream come true. Through the generosity of a fellowship granted by the Kyushu Fulbright Alumni, I was able to spend two years exploring museums, collections and studios throughout western Japan. Most importantly, the fellowship allowed me the priceless experience of working at a traditional ceramic studio in Chofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture under master potter Fujimoto Kauru.
While given a strong technical training and historical background when I was in my graduate program, my time in Japan expanded my aesthetic understanding of ceramics as well as the practicalities of the studio production process.
I returned to the United States and established Flying Plumtree Studio. My kiln is a propane fired downdraft kiln that I designed and built myself. My work is primarily functional, with glazes carefully designed to be safe for food as well as the dishwasher and microwave. I formulate all my own glazes, often using various types of plant and wood ash and local clay.
Because I created pottery to be used in everyday life, I pay careful attention not only to how a piece looks, but also how it functions. Cups, mugs and bowls should be comfortable in the hand. Teapots and pitchers need proper balance and pouring spouts. Flower and bonsai containers should set the stage for the arrangements they hold. My Ojizo statues are simply meant to delight and offer comfort.
I was given the gift of studying with Fujimoto Kauru at Wado Gama pottery studio in Yamaguchi prefecture Japan. He generously let me work and train with him, only asking that when I return home and start my own studio I bring with me his devotion to spreading peace, joy and comfort through my art. This idea has been the cornerstone of all my efforts at Flying Plumtree Studio.