Early Spring, 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood panel; 13 (diameter) x d.5 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Miami in February, 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood panel; 13 (diameter) x d.5 inches. Iimage credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Bedtime on Sunset Lane, 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood panel; 12 (diameter) x d.5 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Midnight, 2016. Porcelain, wire, glass beads, wood panel; 25 (diameter) x d.5 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Spring on Sunset Lane, 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood pan; h.48 x w.26 x d.5 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
November 2015 (For Fred), 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood panel; h.37 x w.15 x d.5 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
September 2015 (for Ollie), 2016. Porcelain, wire, wood panel; h.37 x w.15 x d.4 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.

Pieces in the Bloom Series explore the fullness and lightness associated with flowers using the permanence of porcelain to reflect life. I am fascinated by the simple joy of flowers along with their symbolism of happiness and hope. My porcelain flowers mimic the fragility of actual flowers yet remain in a constant state of bloom. Additional inspiration is with the overgrown and forgotten, the fantasy of fairy tales, and the reality of everyday domestic life. In Michigan, especially during the winter months, it is reassuring to look forward to spring with its warmth and new growth.

Waiting for Summer in March, 2016. Porcelain, wood; h.23 3/4 x w.10 1/2 x d.4 3/4 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Wishing for Summer in January, 2013. Porcelain, epsom salts, wood; h.23.75 x w.10.5 x d.4.75 inches. Image credits: Alex Nichols & Tim Thayer.
Thinking of Summer in February, 2013. Porcelain, epsom salts, wood; h.23.75 x w.10.5 x d.4.75 inches. Image credits: Alex Nichols & Tim Thayer.
Sleep, Dream, Heal, 2016. Porcelain, wire, glass, beads, iron bed; h.39 x w.83 x d.53 inches. Image credits: Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
A Long Chilly May, 2015. Porcelain, silica sand, wood; h.3 x w.42 x d.4 inches. Image credit: Alex Nichols, Tim Thayer & Robert Hensleigh.
Angie’s Flowers, 2013. Porcelain, wire, mixed media; h.41 x w.30 x d.30 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer.
Half of June, 2013. Porcelain, wire, h.8 x w.10 x d.10 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer.
Bloom, 2013. Porcelain, wire, wood; each: h.65 x w.78 x d.4 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer.
For Another Day, 2011. Porcelain, mixed media; h.37 x w.56 x d.29 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer.
Resilience II, 2010. Porcelain, wire, acrylic; h.5 x w.48 x d.48 inches. Image credit: Tim Thayer.
Dogwoods, 2009. Porcelain; each approximately h. 3 x w. 2.5 x d. 2 inches.
Resilience, 2009. Porcelain, wire; h. 5 x w. 18 x d. 14 inches.

Resilience evolved from both an awareness of my innermost reactions, actions, and choices when confronted by life’s challenges as well as an overall recognition of the enduring quality of hope that is possible within the psyche.

Team-teaching a summer ceramics study abroad program in China was a chance of a lifetime. My travels to Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Jingdezhen allowed for experiences and interactions beyond imagination coupled with time for self-reflection. I was deeply inspired. At the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, I witnessed a demonstration of traditional ceramic flower building techniques. I decided to create a series of porcelain dogwood flowers to symbolize my renewed awareness of hope both from within myself as well as within humanity. When I returned home to Michigan, I realized that the perfect context for these flowers was the winding pile of red wire that I had saved from a work in progress struggle from a previous installation. The evolution of the work included a continued twisting of wire and making of porcelain dogwoods. Over time, the piece evolved to finally become a large floor piece.

Qualities of resilience can be found in all forms of life. This ingrained instinct of survival is a touching and basic form reflected in the human condition. The will to face adversity and not give up, the knowledge of an intrinsic core self, and the willingness to smile and move beyond anger, fear, and death reflects joy, trust, hope, and love.