Drawing was a very important part of this experience. At that time, there was not Ceramics Major, but I took several semesters of Ceramics. Some of the major influences there were an introduction to the Baroque and Rococo (which, at that time, the period of Abstract Expressionism, every one ridiculed) so-called primitive art and included such giants in art such as Henry Moore. During that time I married a fellow student, Judy Love.
After the Art Institute, I worked at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City for a year and nine months. Since Hallmark had a super medical plan, we had a child, Sara Mercedes. This was in the mid 60's, and change was immanent. We "dropped out" and moved to Santa Fe and Madrid, New Mexico for about a year or so. There, I started making art totally on my own and to build up a group of works and was invited to attend graduate school at the University of Nebraska where I majored in Ceramics.
Upon receiving my MFA at Nebraska, I taught at Kansas State University for two years, Judy wound up on staff and taught there for twenty-five years. Since then I have been making art as fast as I can mix up clay. When Judy and I divorced in 1974 (we are now very good friends), I went to Vail, Colorado. For several years I lived in a 1950 Chevrolet school bus and set up studio and made ceramic goodies wherever I found myself. I taught at the SummerVail Art Workshop for about twelve summers and most of my later connections derived from those experiences. In 1982 I settled in Denver and worked at the Santa Fe Pottery on Santa Fe Drive for sixteen years. In 1983 I met Ruth DeOreo and we have been together since.
During the time in Denver I became interested in doing larger works, which include several wall murals, bathroom sink and mirror sets. I built two large fire-breathing dragons, which are installed in Chicago (one was presented on the "Today" show). They, as are most of the very large pieces, are made of sculptural stoneware. The vast majority of my work is of Porcelain, the King of Clay! Recently I was a featured artisan on the Lynette Jennings Design Show on the Discovery Channel. My switch to Porcelain came in about 1985 when I realized that to get the bright colors I needed a white background; the same reason watercolorists use white paper.
I have taught at several universities as well as giving workshops featuring my techniques, influences and aesthetics. These workshops are a real pleasure to present. Also, I show and sell my work at about six to seven art fairs and festivals during the year.
My building in Denver was sold in 1998 and my rent tripled, so I eventually made my move to Wabaunsee, Kansas (Eleven miles east of Manhattan, Kansas), where I now live and work. The house is an old school house and I work in an adjacent doublewide trailer.