Artist Statement

   Much like craft, the character of folktales and storytelling lies in the difference between the hand-made and the machine-made, the individual and the mass produced.  The individual mark of a skilled designer in his or her medium has the same impact as the voice of a skilled storyteller. In either process there are no fixed or formal rules; the touch of the creator is part of every moment. When a story or work of art is unloved, over–processed, or mechanized, you feel the lack of authenticity. It is impossible for a great story or beautiful design not to become a part of both the audience and the creator.

    Design is my mode of communication, my means of telling a story.  My designs are the outgrowth of a spontaneous reaction: sometimes it is spawned by something I have read or heard about, but more often it is the people around me that inform my work. Friends, relatives, people I see on the street for a fleeting moment, they all leave an impression.  

     One of the things I love most about the act of creation is the moment the work is viewed by others, when it is no longer under my control. Design has the same quality of re-creation that stories have.  Change is forced upon a story every time it is spoken; there is a metamorphosis in the act of listening. With these sculptures there is a metamorphosis in the act of viewing.  Each object suggests its own story to every individual who views it, and with luck these pieces become the impetus for thousands of tiny secondary thoughts and stories, morals and tales that will become parts of thousands more. 

    The foundation of folklore is the manner in which it is transmitted: one person tells another or one person shows another.  A great deal of what is passed along generation after generation depends on the memory of the creator together with the memory of the listener.  My work functions in the same way.  I create work using my memory of specific people, places, and situations.  The viewer will remember my work and take it with them either physically, consciously or subconsciously.  Perhaps what I have created will affect how they treat other people or how they think about themselves. 

    Stories are casual, informal, and uncontrolled, but there is an established system of symbols that people use to communicate and to evoke a shared meaning based on experience.  The act of storytelling brings us closer to the people around us; it acts as an informal social relationship.  I am attempting to use the touchstone of folklore and storytelling to challenge ideas and raise questions in the minds of the user, questions of alienation, humanity, loneliness, acceptance, community, and societal norms.