Every piece of artwork from Fern Street Pottery is handmade by me from idea to creation, to glazing and firing. I design my pieces to be functional, comfortable, practical, beautiful. They are meant to be handled, used, touched and held. I believe in purposeful design: form follows function. Mugs should feel comfortable when held by the handle, wrapped in your hands, and brought to your lips. Colanders for straining pasta or rinsing fruit drain efficiently, and do not hold water under the foot of the pot. Bowls are designed to be handled, filled, carried to the table looking beautiful displaying your culinary creations. The rim of a bowl should not be overlooked as a beautiful accent. It should be comfortable and stable to hold and can be a beautiful opportunity for the glaze to pool. Olive oil cruets and salt wells are a beautiful and practical way to cook and decorate with grace. The oil cruet is designed to be comfortable and balanced in the hand, fitted with a cork pourer that will not drip. The salt well is so useful as it is semi-covered, includes a handle, and yet lacks a lid giving it easy access. I strive for contemporary-classic shapes as they are timeless pieces for your home.
My process begins with an idea of a plant form, usually inspired by a run through a wooded trail near my home. I find that when I sketch my concept before beginning the sculptural process I develop a more refined idea as well as consider and solve some structural questions. I begin by loosely sketching in pencil, then refine with ink and ink painting to contemplate the colors. I design the pieces to be displayed either by hanging on a wall, or to set on a table. I love to display a grouping of three or more of them together on a wall. My forms are begun, generally with slabs which are allowed to set and dry a bit while I begin to form various parts and appendages. Some of these parts are made from colored porcelain. As the parts approach the leather-hard stage I assemble, add forms and appendages, and carve and sculpt intricate detail. After bisque firing, the pieces are stained, glazed and fired to around 2,300 degrees. Some areas may be left unglazed and cold finished for an enhanced color.
Fencepost finials were designed as my solution to keep bright color in the yard throughout our Northwest winters. I design and build each one to drain rainwater off, therefore freezing temperatures pose no threat. They are combinations of hand built and wheel thrown techniques. All parts of the finials are hollow, even the intricately carved floral pieces are completely hollow. These are statement pieces that give visitors and passers-by a more interesting and colorful first impression.