Ideas behind sculptural vessels.

References to landscape and natural phenomena are often evident in my forms and working processes.  The forms are abstracted yet resemble the geological features of their origin, such as glacial ice or weathered rock.  By creating work using the material’s inherent properties and mimicking processes from nature, I am searching for the essence of the material’s structure and the qualities it naturally possesses.

I am drawn to geological formations and extreme landscapes that remind me of my own solitude and impermanence.  I am interested in exploring these ideas through my work by creating solitary, abstracted or fragmented forms that are reflective of the land, processes, and materials from which they are derived, while simultaneously having a visceral and metaphysical connection to the viewer.

My approach is to explore form and surface in a more intuitive manner, allowing the materials to more instinctively influence the making processes and results.  The materials and processes are exposed rather than being disguised, while my control over the work is less obvious, giving the finished piece the feel of a found object or fragment that you might happen upon in nature.

Using the materials and processes that have created and are continuously shaping the earth, I hope to relate to an elemental quality in both form and concept as a foundation for questions and ideas, as opposed to a closed system of statements and answers.

 

Excerpt from my 2012 graduate thesis, Chapter 1, Influence and Experience.

In 2005 I joined the U.S. Peace Corps and subsequently lived and worked in eastern Mongolia for two years.  My time there was challenging both mentally and physically, and I came away with a very different understanding of the world and the circumstances of human existence in a developing country.

Experiencing the everyday struggles of survival in such a harsh environment was sobering.  The Siberian winters and encroaching Gobi sandstorms made life difficult for the Mongolians living an isolated eighteen hours by car from the nearest city.  The landscape of the eastern steppe was flat and infinite, seemingly at the farthest edge of the world.  Its vastness created a sense of solitude, simultaneously comforting and frightening.  My surroundings would absorb me completely, leading to a great deal of self-reflection.  I often find myself trying to evoke that same mental space in the work that I make today, work that will break life down to a root understanding or provide a moment of clarity about the meaning of my own existence within the world.