I understand that you migrated to art as a college student. I assume that there were early creative experiences that paved the way. Was your artful spirit hibernating, were you aware of it?
It’s interesting that your mother was the one to encourage you to take the leap in Art studies since often most parents place an emphatic push on traditional careers. She must have been a very intuitive person with good instincts.
You traveled through initial career journeys as an archaeologist then an architect to solidly planting yourself as an artist. How have these studies shaped your thinking in making your art?
You write:“The things I make influence what I buy and the things I buy influence what I make….. It’s a dance where ideas are applied in different ways depending on the medium.” This integrative approach must trigger a whole inner circle of visual and intellectual thought. When did you become conscious of this unique way of relating to the objects around you?
It is kind of a circle; each feeds the other. We’re making rugs in Nepal and using images of pots in the design, and as the rugs change it goes back and influences my pots again. Now I am making a new line of furniture which is taking imagery from both the pots and the rugs. It is a kind of interior discussion based on curiosity of what happens if I take this thing from here……stealing one thing from one place to see how it may fit in another . It’s an approach of transforming one thing to another.
Your approach to creating art is dynamic. You respond with flexibility, shifting your initial values to embrace a more complex view that hosts many elements of thought to bring down barriers of distinction among those elements. Do you consider yourself a flexible open person in life as well?
I have been a practicing Buddhist for many years; one of the things this leads to is that one becomes less interested in the distinctions between this and that. I’m not interested in barriers, so I can move between things that others may find think of as very different. And a lot of what I do is to show up to the problem with whatever point of view I have and apply it.
I probably consider myself more open and flexible than others do.
Also I may be more open than flexible because the way I do things requires discipline so it means that I may have to say “No” to people who want me to do something else.
Having created in many mediums (clay, paint, steel, fiber) and produced many objects/items, what do you still yearn to do now at 72?
It’s almost a continuation of all things and of course there is an economic piece to all of it since I stopped teaching 40 years ago and now I am focused on sustaining my studio.