I was born in Statesboro, GA and grew up in a farming community about eight miles from town. My grandparent’s farm was within walking distance of our house and I spent the summers helping them with the tobacco harvest. After graduating from Southeast Bulloch High School, I served in the US Navy, then attended GA Southern Univ, on the G.I. Bill, where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and Industrial Arts Education in 1977.
My interest in pottery began when I took a ceramics course in college. Using Georgia’s natural clay and mineral resources to make pots appealed to me as well as the aspects of the craft that allow a way to be creative in an industrial environment. I honed my skills by working in Macon as a production potter for two years.
Since 1995 I have been living and working in Meriwether County at the former home studio of the late D.X. Gordy, one of several Gordy family artists and craftsmen revered throughout Georgia for their pottery making skills. Working in this historical environment has enhanced my perspectives and appreciation of mid-twentieth century potters who had to adapt their methods to the changes in handmade pottery technology and taste.
I mix stoneware clay in a motorized washtub and produce wheel thrown pottery on an electric wheel. Some of my glazes are derived from local minerals including iron sand, hardwood ashes, and a gneiss-hornblende stone. The minerals are pulverized using a hammer mill and jar mill to produce a fine powder that is mixed with clay and water then applied to a bisque-fired pot. Most of the stoneware is fired in a wood burning kiln where it reaches temperatures hot enough to melt the homemade glazes. Hot embers and flames enhance the clay and glazes causing glaze runs, pooling, and flashing marks on the clay.