The Artist

I am a potter/ sculptor working in primarily clay. My Arts education began with a BFA in Design from UMass Dartmouth and continued with an intensive study of clay in Nagano Japan. Now in my 20th year as a studio artist my specialties are wood-fired stoneware and most recently cast bronze.

The incense burners I make are based on a 15th century Japanese lion burner. I have updated the form and design using all the images of monsters and gargoyles logged into my brain over the last 47 years. Many things have contributed to these monsters. including Maurice Sendak’s illustrations, Notre Dame gargoyles, Tolkien, Guardian Lions in Japan, lots of local dogs and many trips to the zoo with my 9 and 3 year-old daughters.

Steve Murphy PhotoThese small sculptures are designed to work beautifully and more importantly, to entertain. With their leering smiles and little feet these pieces say, “I’m cute but I will bite!” The incense houses are based on many homes and temples in the small town of Obuse in Japan’s Central Highlands. I spent three years there as an English teacher in the local Junior High School and as a student of Keiichroh Sato, a potter/sculptor. Early mornings before school, I would bike around town looking at architecture, trees and mountains. Nagano is a very beautiful place!

My abstract sculptures are based on biological sources, the “Radiolarians” are microscopic sea creatures and the “Fossil” series relate to dinosaur bones.

My covered vessels are designed to hold treasures of any kind–spices to diamonds! They are thrown as single works, then cut into two and trimmed.

My bowls and platters, sake cups and bottles and other pots are designed to be used! They are food and dishwasher safe. I think about how my work will be used. The food delineates the design.

I teach at Mudflat Pottery School and Danforth Art Museum School to adults and children.

I am married and have two lovely daughters and a new puppy.

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