As a clay artist for over 40 years, I’ve spent the majority of that time exploring my relationship with the flora and fauna of the natural world. I’m very interested in ‘animal speak’—the companionable interaction with nature we are often priviledged to have if we just quiet our minds and let the busy distracting noise of our materialistic culture fall away.
Living in rural Oregon has expanded this awareness and I find myself drawn, more and more, to the Native American interpretation of animals and plants as personal totems and guides through our everyday life. My newest series of Totem Boxes is in celebration of this—the Crow with Corn, the Owl with Acorn are just a few. I am currently working on the turtle, the rabbit, otter, buffalo, bear, lizard and frog as well.
I find that in the process of doing my work, one thing just naturally leads to another. For many years I have used the oak tree as motif, then suddenly find myself recognizing acorns as a seed of growth and longevity—which inevitable leads me back to the oak trees, many of which are hundreds of years old. This certainly puts our limited time on this earth and all the complications we attach to that time, into proper perspective!