Meet the potters
We made our first pots in January 2007 at a class we took together in Frederick, Maryland. We participated in our first wood firing in May of the same year and by November 2008, we were breaking ground for a kiln shed. One brick at a time, with the help of friends, we built our 27 foot, three chamber anagama/noborigama wood kiln, designed by Stan Burgess with assistance from Kevin Crowe.
We train in workshops and value our time in the studio.
Scott is CTO at Yakabod, Inc., a software firm that specializes in secure knowledge sharing systems; Debbie is devoted full time to the pottery. Our blended family includes 4 grown children and 8 grandchildren. ‘Home’ is 14 beautiful acres in Lovettsville, Virginia.
As a passionate technologist for the past 45 years, writing an artist statement seems like a betrayal. I have resisted the title of artist. My thoughts are binary (1s and 0s). I communicate best with computers. My career has revolved around logic and rules. My favorite saying is, “there is nothing magic about software; it works like you tell it to work.” Now that I’m working with clay I’m encouraged to ‘color’ outside the lines, be creative, and let the clay have a say.
I prefer to create objects that are used in everyday life. I like to spend time with the objects I build to see that their use will be comfortable and provide the user some pleasure. In software we call it “eating your own dog food.” In other words, using what you build.
I love the wood fire experience. I want pots heavy enough to endure the long firing yet light enough to use. I want the rugged look from the fire and ash, but refined enough for people to use with comfort.
Math is a challenge for me, but the abstract values and expectations in math theory and law have my attention. No doubt, once we measure something or attempt to qualify it, it changes. Position and momentum are abstract, except at any given fraction of a second. And that’s gone before it’s realized.
I desire to influence the way you relate to time and timing through an awareness of interaction. Interaction, even with something so familiar and common as a cup.
For me, working with clay offers opportunities to deliberately experience and exemplify the force of change in a process bound by rules, risks, and rewards. Most of what I make with clay is for everyday use. Some forms are sculptural.
There is always treasure. Every firing. Most often that treasure is in the form of valuable lessons. Often enough, it comes in the form of a beautiful pot.
Even when the results are less than favorable, I am filled with a sense of excitement and discovery that I share, show, and tell. I photograph the process, the potters, and the pots.
I am grateful for the privilege to do something I love to do. And delighted that pottery is the reason our paths crossed.