October 30, 2014
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I received a BFA from UW-Milwaukee, lived in Italy for a year (Venice and Trevi) and then came to Pennsylvania, where I received my MFA from Tyler School of Art. I’ve been teaching ceramics for 18 years.
What is your teaching philosophy?
It’s simple: give students the technical information they need to create thought-provoking art and combine that with gentle guidance to help them achieve their goals.
What is your favorite class to teach?
The Joy of Clay Date: Throwing class is especially fun. The students have developed an esprit de corps that is very special. I also enjoy teaching sculptural ceramics and hand building because students work with a narrative.
What made you interested in clay as an art form?
Making mud pies as a child!
What is your favorite clay to work with?
My favorite clay most resembles the clay used in those early mud pies. It has lots of sand and a lot of gritty texture.
What is your go-to tool in the studio?
Hands. Everything you make is a type of self-portraiture because clay records and responds to the lightest touch. The clay is a diary and your hands tell the story.
Why do you like teaching at the Museum?
The Delaware Art Museum is the only museum in the area that has a fully dedicated studio art program and wing. Students are able to view, research, and make art in a state-of-the-art facility.
How would you describe your own art?
My work is sculptural and reflects the dichotomy of human nature. Gallery work is fairly solemn (reliquaries, ossuaries), but I also make and wholesale a line of very happy colorful birds called Speros. Spero means “I hope” in Italian, so I call them “Birds of Hope”. They are available in 30 different shops and galleries across the country and closer to home. The Delaware Art Museum Store carries a good selection.