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When working on variations or at those times when an image presents itself “whole” to my mind's eye, I may draw on paper before transferring the drawing to tile. More often, I am inspired to work by an emotional impulse, rather than a theme or concept. I usually draw (in pencil or felt pen) directly on the surface of fired paving tiles, and simply allow my hand to follow rhythms present in my body and breath. Sometimes I actually hear a distant inner music accompanied by murmuring voices, to which my hand seems to be dancing. There are times when the dancing line seems to be directed by a spirit beyond what I can define. As I draw, figures and forms emerge, and I begin to understand something about what “story” in my life the image might relate to, and may intentionally articulate or “edit” its details. I sometimes discover that images in my art and writing seem more related to what happens in my life after I come up with them than to my past.

For multiple-tile artworks I lay the tiles out in the positions they will be assembled into after firing, then draw and paint on them. Sometimes I go back and forth between the drawing and painting process or add tiles as I proceed.


I use wooden sticks to apply low-fire glazes to the tile surface, sometimes layering different glazes. I do not use wax resist in my work, but rely on careful painting and the minor resist effect of the pencil lines of my drawing. Color composition is a challenging process as the glaze colors begin as homogenous and muddy pastel tones, to be transformed by firing into vibrant colors and varied textures. So far I have not found a satisfactory means of simulating the finished colors in other media first, though I have recently begun to use paint, pen or a computer to get a rough idea at times. Generally, I must simply employ my inner eye to imagine the finished work while doing my best to disregard the appearance of the unfired glazes. This process seems to feel alternately like meditation and-- particularly since I am fascinated by the interplay of positive and negative space—like working on a highly complex mental puzzle.

Finally, I fire the glazed tiles at cone 06 (about 2000° F) in an electric kiln.


There is no printing or mechanical process involved in creating the editions; they are all drawn out and painted entirely by hand. My partner, Clive has become an expert glazer and now does much of the work of repainting the editions of my images (as well as working at shows with me, etc.), which enables me to focus more on the purely creative work. To reproduce the tile paintings, I make a line drawing template from the fired tile, and create a color scheme and other notes as necessary. We then hand trace the designs onto tiles and hand glaze them. I check all editions carefully before firing to assure that I am satisfied with every detail.