I started Beachfront Pottery in 2006 with the dream of making high quality pottery pieces inspired by oceans, and beaches. I have always loved to spend time on beaches, and in oceans. Once I discovered that I love to work with clay, the crossroads of these two love interests meant the beginnings of Beachfront Pottery.
Trips to beaches of Baltic Sea and Black Sea in Europe, California, Virgin Islands, Massachusetts, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Grand Caymans, Roatan Island in Honduras, Belize, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, South Carolina, and Maine broadened my horizon about the impressive variety of ocean life, and beach environments. When I am not on a beach, I read, watch documentaries and videos about the mythology, spirituality, and natural history of oceans and beaches. I learned through these years that despite the mind boggling colors and shapes we see in the oceans, we explored only a tiny part of these waters. It humbles and excites me to think what we still don’t know about the oceans and beaches.
I learned the basic ceramic hand-building techniques by taking classes at a local art store. Then I assembled and equipped a small pottery studio in the basement of my home, so I can freely experiment with different clay bodies and glazes to form the pieces that tell the stories of oceans and beaches.
In pottery stores, galleries, at art fairs, and art associations I have met a lot of friendly and helpful folks during these past few years, and they made the journey even more enjoyable. It is a wonderful feeling to lift a newly-glazed piece from the kiln, and to see the smiles on the face of my customers when they find something they like. Those kind of experiences make me take special pride in my work, and to strive for creating even more expressive ceramic pieces.
The hand crafting process
All my creations begin with a vision of a particular piece. Sometime I see a snapshot of an unfolding event, story, sometimes I see shapes and colors in response to an ocean-related experience. I can’t tell you how those inspirations from personal experiences get transformed into colors and shapes of these visions; perhaps, a subconscious kinship with the oceans and beaches unleash those primal, creative forces in my brain.
I always make sketches of my visions. Wherever I go I keep a sketch pad and pencil near me in case a vision comes to me unexpectedly. During the days and weeks after the original sketch I keep making new and modified versions of the original in an attempt to fine tune the design. At the end of this designing process I have several sketches to guide me to make prototypes. It’s only after making several prototypes of a piece when I can decide which versions of a piece would best communicate the story at hand.
To make my pieces I hand-build all shapes. I don’t use any machinery; even for rolling out a sheet of clay I use a rolling pin. This way it’s always the touch of my hands that embeds the vision, the story into each piece. I don’t have assistants or helpers at any stage of my work. As a consequence, each piece is handled by me several times from the clay stage to the final glazed product. I have full control of the creative process, and I can always take 100% credit (or 100% of the blame) for the final product
Once the original shapes are formed from wet clay, I let the clay dry, while making adjustments to the piece if needed. The bone-dry clay piece may be sanded, smoothed before firing. This bisque firing is followed by adding color to the piece by dripping and brushing commercial or home-mixed glazes. The glaze firing adds the shine to the pieces. For some pieces additional glaze layers, or glass items are added followed by several subsequent firings.
The final piece is always an intersection of my original inspiring experience, my vision, technical innovations, and the artistic effort. While crafting my pieces I disconnect from the distractions of the present time, and connect deeply with my memories and visions.
Meet the Artist and see the studio
I'm holding a Hawaii bowl and a Great White Shark platter.
My kilns in the garage.
My studio space in my basement.