The Black Nail Project
A very minor accident set me off on an exciting tangent.I closed my finger in a car door, the nail turned black, and I could not throw on the potter's wheel until it healed.What could I do in the meantime?
I've owned several wooden Indonesian fabric stamps for well over a decade, but never used them. They were so beautiful and complete it seemed there was nothing for me to add.I experimented by stamping clay slabs, overlapping and distorting the images, then adding more texture with stamps I had made. With this a whole new vocabulary began to emerge. At first I made slab trays and dishes. When my fingernail got better I was able to combine these textured slabs with coils and thrown elements.
These are the vessels that grew out of this process. They are still pots but sculptural content, not function, is the prime intent. I think of it as "The Black Nail Project".
A little background...
I've been making pots full-time for over 40 years, ever since graduating from Temple University's Tyler School of Art with a MFA in ceramics. Also during this time I've regularly taught ceramics. Taking a little time away from my studio keeps my ideas fresh.
Selected teaching experience:
• Greenwich House Pottery, New York City
• Clay Art Center, Port Chester, New York
• Sir Sandford Fleming College, Coburg and Belleville, Ontario
• Koffler Centre of the Arts, Toronto, Ontario
• Dundas Valley School of Art, Dundas, Ontario
• Haliburton School of Art, Haliburton, Ontario. Summer workshops and Sir Sandford Fleming College Certificate Program.
I've also conducted over 150 workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and critiques across Canada and the USA. Currently I teach courses at the Dundas Valley and Haliburton schools.
Other professional activities:
• Founding member of Artspace Gallery , Peterborough, Ontario
• Member of the Professional Craftsman's Advisory Committee for the Ontario Crafts Council
• Vice-President and later Chairman of Fusion, the Ontario Clay and Glass Association
• Juror for both the Ontario Crafts Council and Fusion, as well as for other guilds and art associations
• Featured in various publications including Fusion and Ceramics Monthly
• Exhibited in many juried, group, and one-person shows across Canada, in the USA, and internationally
• Most recent exhibition: The Black Nail Project at David Kaye Gallery, Toronto, Ontario **read Globe and Mail review