I like to think that as a ceramic sculptor I deal with space or the void in much the same way a composer of music deals with silence or the absence of sound. From my mind’s eye I play, turning a three-dimensional form in space. The form may turn inside and then out. Sometimes it floats in space, losing its sense of gravity.

In a number of ways I am attracted to the form of the auger. It attracts me to the metaphor it develops with the twisting iron tool we often see move the earth. The clay auger I form in the studio speaks of the dynamic twisted earth. The plastic state of clay is the perfect means for expressing forms conjured up from the inner vision of the mind.

I enjoy the visual push and pull, the in and out from the axis of the auger. The first hollow clay augers I made became “Earth Augers.” They began to remind me of earth shapes left behind the plow in the rolling fields. Larger “Twisted Earthscapes” followed these works.  Abstractly painting the surface of these twisting forms became part of the challenge. At times color on these surfaces reinforces what the eye see and wants to identify. But then color can also camouflage the form by hiding the presence of an inherent dynamic energy. The twist of the auger form is a gesture in space, which we experience both visually and tactilely, intellectually and physically. The viewer should feel the torque; the pushed and pulled as they move around the final fired form.

1958  M.F.A. Cranbrook Academy of Art
1952  BA Ed. University of Northern Iowa

1991-1993  Interim Dean, School of Art
1959-1995  Professor, School of Art and Design, University of Michigan
1965-1965  University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
1958-1959  Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

2010  Elect to American Council of Fellows
2002  Elected to NCECA “Honor of the Council”
2000  Elected member of International Academy of Ceramics
1992  Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree, Grand Valley State University
1990  Awarded Catherine B. Heller Distinguished Professorship

2000  Research in China Grant, Asian Cultural Council, NY, NY
1989-1990  Artist Grant, Michigan Council for the Arts
1986-1987  Artist Grant, National Endowment for the Arts
1962-1963  Rackham Grant, Study of natural glazing in Japan

Selected Exhibitions    
2010  “The Clay Birds Nest”, A Retrospective, BBAC Birmingham MI
2009  “Pillars” four decades, C.C.S., Detroit, MI
2008  “Michigan Ceramics”, Wayne State Univ C.C.S, Award
2007  “Abstract Sculpture” Clay Studio, Philadelphia,PA
2006  River Gallery, Clay/10, Chelsea, MI
2006  Riga, Latvia, AIC Exhibition
2005  Ann Arbor Art Center with Susanne, Ann Arbor, MI
2001  Korean World Exposition, IAC, Korea
2002  21st Century Ceramic, Invitational, Columbus, OH
2002  Washington Street Galley, with Susanne, Ann Arbor, MI
2002  Michigan Potters Assoc, BBBA and Dennos Museum, Award
2000  International Invitational, Shiwan and Jingdezhen, PR China
2000  IAC Exhibition, KERAMION, Frechen, Germany
1979  Century of Ceramics in the U.S.A., Syracuse, NY
1969  Objects U.S.A., Smithsonian, Washington, DC
1965  XXIII Concorso Internationale Faenza, Italy, Gold Medal

Objects U.S.A.; Alfred University; Ohio State University; Portland Museum of Art; Cranbrook Museum of Art; Detroit Institute of Art; Museum of Contemporary Crafts, NY, NY; Faenza Museum, Faenza, Italy; Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague, Czech Republic; Keramion, Frechen, Germany; Kyonggi Museum, Korea; Foshan Museum, PR of China, American Ceramic Museum, Flican, Fuping Shaanxi China; Kresge Art Museum, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI

Foreign Study            
Germany, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Nepal, Czech Republic, P.R. China, and Denmark

All images © 2014-2016 Clay Gallery

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