About the Artist
Born on the cutting edge of the Baby Boom, I received my BA in Journalism/Advertising from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
After a 3 year stint as an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving as Personal Aide to the Chief of Information, Rear Admiral Larry Geis, I pursued two brief corporate careers. During this time, I found myself living for the weekend and dreading the work week and consequently, I decided to try something different. So, in 1973, after quitting the second corporate job, I traveled to Atlanta to visit a friend. I ended up staying there for nearly 20 years, in which time I returned to college at Georgia State University, took my first art/ceramics class ever, and received my Masters of Visual Arts degree 5 years later with a major in Ceramics. I also met and married to my wife of 30 years, Lynn Powell-Forbes and purchased a home in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood.
After graduation, I decided to build a studio in the lower level of our home and pursue an art career. Being self employed had its scary moments in the beginning, but I quickly discovered it provided me with the freedom and creativity I had so longed for in those corporate careers.
In 1981, Lynn and I purchased our current 4.5 acre homesite, which is part of an intentional community/land trust near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Asheville, North Carolina. In our community, each partner owns his/her building site outright, but we also share stewardship of 60 acres of common land that will never be developed. In 1992, we built our current home/studio, which was designed after vacation homes we had stayed in over the years, and being passive solar, it also features a beautiful mountain vista. Our neighbors in the land trust are also close friends and make our living situation here very special. My 1100 square foot studio is on the first level of the house and can be visited by appointment.
Over the years, Iíve had work featured in a variety of group and solo exhibitions. My ceramics are also part of numerous corporate, private and museum collections throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Europe and Japan. Iíve been featured in publications, such as Ceramics Monthly magazine (May, 1985), and books such as Ceramics Spectrum, second edition; Clay and Glazes for the Potter, third edition; and Throwing on the Potterís Wheel by Don Davis.I'm also honored to be featured in "100 Artists of the South," released in 2012.
For six years I was an Assistant Professor in Ceramics at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and also taught weekly classes at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta and at Odyssey Center of Ceramic Arts after moving to Asheville. In the last few years, Iíve been teaching weekend and week-long workshops at such places as Metchosin Summer School for the Arts in Victoria, BC, Canada; Pots and Paints near Los Cabos, Mexico; John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC; Studio of the Woods in Kentucky; East Tennessee State University, Georgia State University, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Miami of Ohio University and recently at the Spring Island, SC Art Center, and Penland School for the Crafts.
I choose to sell my work by a variety of means: including studio open houses, retail shows, commissions, wholesale and by consignment at galleries. I'm currently displaying 20-25 pieces as a partner in Ariel Craft Gallery, a coop gallery at 19 Biltmore Ave. in downtown Asheville.
Philosophically, I am using ceramic art as a means to achieve a balance between conscious control and the more subtle, unconscious or universal forces that permeate our reality. Creating forms on the wheel successfully, requires a high degree of control. As the pieces move toward completion, however, this control over them becomes less conscious and more spontaneous. The raku firing is the ultimate test of achieving this balance, when my relationship with the pottery is caught in an intimate embrace between conscious action and the strong, yet subtle forces of the fire and smoke.
Change and growth are important aspects of the direction of my work. I believe that it should be fun to make pots, and that playfulness is a key to releasing creative potential. Exploring new forms and refining old ones, along with a what if I try this attitude in dealing with the glazes and surfaces, keeps my work moving and evolving.