I started as a potter for a hobby in 1972. I worked exclusively on the potters wheel making utilitarian pieces. Plates, bowls, cups, tea pots, casseroles, and all the usual pottery dishes were my goal. I worked mainly with stoneware with a reduction firing and achieved some wonderful glazes and a style that I
could call my own.
In the early 80’s I took a break from pottery and I started again in 2009 after retiring from Milwaukee Electric Tool Co. as district manager. After a couple of years throwing on the wheel, I started carving houses, barns, cities, etc. on some of the pots I was throwing. I was fascinated with the textures I could achieve. Getting the perspective correct with this method of building square objects on a round pot is taxing. I decided there was greater freedom in creating my “Hallucinated Habitat” using a clay slab. The most enjoyable part of making each piece is in the attachment of windows, doors, chimneys, foundations and porches. I never knew that I’d have the patience to attend to such small, delicate detail.
As I start each piece, I wonder what the result will be. My only conscious decision is what size I will build into the first wall. This sets the limits on the rest of the house. The houses seem to grow by their own devices and it amazes me that I can guide the clay in to some wonderful, surprising structures. At times, my building is a little bizarre with walls sticking out in several planes. Putting on some kind of a plausible roof is a challenge with these particular designs. It is so gratifying to know that others have a little sense of the whimsy that these houses represent.