I have always believed I have a short attention span, accounting for what seems to be a dabbling in many mediums, techniques and variety of image approaches including figurative and abstract work. That notwithstanding, I believe I’ve also done master potter and master printmaker level work. In addition, I find commission work and large-scale installations requiring significant time discipline and technical excellence to be challenging and rewarding.
In functional clay work, I’ve specialized in sacramental vessels for churches, decorating pitchers, plates, and chalices with stain symbols and using contrasting glazes as a finish. I’ve also done special order work from dinner ware sets to other ware – I’ll make 150 tea cups in traditional Indian style for a conference in San Diego, CA for the spring of 2015.
Since completing The Gift for Dordt College 20 years ago, I’ve developed a taste for large-scale work in clay and the exceptional effort to pull off such work successfully. It involved nearly 2 tons of clay alone, plus cement and steel in constructing a 10ft tall figure on a large rock-like base with a raised cement plinth, finished in tile with over 40 symbols of the disciplines of study at the college. I consulted with Dave Dalquist from Des Moines, IA on this exterior installation.
In 2009 I completed 26 architectural tile cornice sections for the Sioux Center library, and more recently, I mounted a large display of clay works for my final exhibit at Dordt called Angel/Beast in the fall of 2013. In addition to prints and drawings, this exhibit featured several 4ft tall freestanding clay figures and a large wall piece entitled The Coming. It is a 8ft by 12ft wall work of dimensional tile and figures of the 4 horses of the apocalypse, demons, and an angel of the Lord dominating the scene. It required nearly 500 hours of work to plan, execute, fire, and mount this work of over 2500 lbs. It was crated, transported, and installed on a brick wall at The Grand Rapids Brewing Co. during Art Prize; fall, 2014.
The latest large scale work was completed for Dordt’s new science building addition during the spring semester at Dordt called Evocative Poetry: Colossians 1: 15-20. It was a collaborative project with David Versluis of the art dept. who conceived of the exploded tile construction based on my vessel markings. David completed all templates and planned the installation procedure, while I made the tile, and fired the 300 pieces making the assemblage. We permanently installed it on 3/8” aluminum plates in June of 2014.