My love affair with clay began in the early 1970’s as an undergraduate art student at a small Midwest liberal arts college. Counter culture influences and my farm-boy background combined, to make a career in pottery an appealing synthesis of practicality, art, and craft husbandry. Beth Kirchhoff, my wife of 41 years, is a musician; pianist, accompanist, and chorus master. We enjoy comparing the similarities of our chosen careers. The respect, understanding, and interpretation of traditional forms, both pottery and music, are clear priorities for each of us.
Shape and Form
The beginnings of pottery go hand in hand with the beginnings of humankind. Of contemporary crafts, only basket making is as fundamental. The shapes of pottery are the shapes of the human body, and are named such: lip, foot, and shoulder. They are shapes we know very well on a level beneath our consciousness.
My forms are extensions of traditional pottery with contemporary variations. They're strong, sleek and sculptural with a bold painterly surface and rich glaze treatment. The pieces have a dynamic impact when viewed from a distance as well as an intensity of detail up close.
Three Dimensional Painting
As an art student, form and function drew me to pottery, but painting is an increasingly important aspect of my work. My best pots resolve the difficulty of painting in three dimension, while maintaining the integrity of the form.