Living and working as an artist, craftsman in Alaska. I work mostly with Clay and Wood and have been drawn to making stuff for a really long time. I tend towards simple process and hand work, I like old technology and new and I find a special interest when it's clear that an intimate object was made by human hands. It seems somehow that when a certain amount of care and attention is given to an object it shows and matters.
As well as art and craft I am passionate about the outside and wild places. Rivers, mountains, the sea and the wildlife that live in it are all exciting and meaningful to me. Boating, skiing, biking, climbing and running help keep me balanced as well as just simply being these places. This all serves as inspiration and also stands on it's own as an important part of my life. Living in Alaska offers this experience readily and is what brings one here, living in Wisconsin before that had the same...but different.
Teaching has been and is a big part of my life. This includes teaching in schools, universities and creative settings like rivers, woods and yurts.
Clay work here is mostly wheel thrown pottery. I learned using standard electric potter's wheels and also have built a Karatsu inspired kickwheel. With some travel, research and luck I had the chance to use a variety of wheels and learned to love this style as well as the Leach treadle wheels. I chose to build the simpler Karatsu style as it was the most elegant tool for making I could imagine. Not an easy one to build or learn to use, but wonderful. I owe a lot of gratitude and thanks to a lot of folks who have shown me along this path.
I like to make and use fairly robust pots and, when I can, use wood to fire them. This is an imitate process full of labor and love. I also like pots that show the marks of the fire, makers hands and tools.
Most of the wood work I do now is bowls and spoons. It is ax and knife carved or turned. I learned to turn wood on a foot powered lathe that I built in 2016 and also use a small electric lathe. I find that working with wood pairs well with the work I do with clay. Often the form and function overlap and where they do it is super complimentary. The hand and tool control and most of all, the design and form has tons of natural crossover. In practice, using a wooden spoon in a clay bowl or wooden bowl, with a pottery plate or cup makes for a super natural and beautiful setting to see and use.
When I have the goods and resources I'm excited to donate a piece to local organizations. I've shared work with the Eagle River Nature Center, Wrangell Mountains Center, Alaska Center for the Environment, Arctic Entires, Chugach Mountain Bike Riders, American Packrafting Association, The Wilderness Classic, Beans Cafe & the Little A Triathlon.
Annie Feidt visited the workshop yurt while we made awards for the Little A Triathlon. You can listen here: http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/04/29/ak-with-the-little-a-triathlon-a-father-grieves-and-gives/
My workshop a small yurt in Eagle River, Alaska.