Clay is held, formed, burnished, and cared for with tactile closeness comparable to the intimacy and delicacy involved in holding a child. As a ceramic artist, I have found the connections between humanity and the creative process to be profound. Creating vessels by hand, from the earth is reminiscent of the practices of our very distant ancestors. My work is wheel thrown and inspired in form by the roundness and fullness of ancient fertility statues. My surfaces reflect nature, fire, and mankind. Earthy shades of gray contrast subtle geometric markings that have been incised into the surface or drawn with underglaze pencil. The graphic patterns visually interact with the natural, organic, and unpredictable markings of the smoke. My work is fired using a primitive smoke firing technique. Pots are placed into a container of combustible materials, the fire is lit at the top, and the embers slowly burn down engulfing the pot. This firing method creates unique, spontaneous, and unrepeatable smoke effects providing an interrelationship between the form and surface of each piece.