Studio and Process
Each urn is carefully handcrafted in my Kingston, Ontario studio (Black Dog Pottery). The urns are handthown and trimmed on my wheel, then bisque fired to 1850 degrees fahrenheit. After that they are placed on a small glaze catch basin and individually glazed using crystalline glazes that I have developed over the past twenty years and fired again to 2300 degrees fahrenheit. The glaze basin is then chipped off and the base is ground to a smooth and flat finish. The crystals in the glaze are zinc silicate crystals that form out of the glaze matrix during a very carefully controlled cooling cycle, ensuring that each urn has its’ own distinct and unique qualities.
I first became interested in pottery after taking a class at the Kingston Potter's Guild in 1990 while studying at Queen's (Philosophy). After several years as a dedicated hobby potter I decided to pursue a full time career in clay and realized that some formal training would be good. I then attended the Emily Carr Institute and Design in Vancouver from 1995-1998. After graduating with a BFA and Diploma in Studio Ceramics, I returned to Kingston to establish my studio. I spent the first year hunkered down in my parents' basement, tracking down used equipment and establishing relationships with galleries to carry my work. In 1999, I officially opened Black Dog Pottery in a small storefront on Montreal Street. The next year I moved to my current location.
The bulk of my work is porcelain which is fired to Cone 10 (2300 F) in my electric kiln. I do a large amount of glaze testing and tweaking, and am particularly interested in developing a depth and variety of colour in my work by overspraying multiple glazes. I have taken several workshops over the years with some of my favorite potters including Tom Coleman (2008), Steven Hill (2010) and Randy Johnston (2017) and am currently taking a glaze materials course with Matthew Katz to further my knowledge of glaze chemistry. I find these workshops extremely beneficial, and ideas and techniques that were presented have strongly influenced my most recent work. I have been distorting the shapes, slowly getting braver with my colours and surface decoration, and am keen to see where this all takes me.