My work and where it came from.... As most makers know, this type of question is a loaded one... dealing with years of personal history, experiences, involvement with all types of people, and places they've seen (among many other variables and.."things"). Creation is a complicated practice..but as many people have said in many different ways,.... "if you don't know where you've come from, how can you really know where you're going?".
My style of pots and decoration comes from a few different sources. I know what I like. I take parts of those things and mish/mash them into something of my own. I'm not concerned with making something "brand new". But at the same time I'm not trying to re-make historical pots or art work. Many of my influences include wood-cut prints from the early 1900s from America like Lynd Ward and German artists like Kathe Kollowitz. Also there are influences from the indigenous Pottery of the American South-west like the Hopi, Mimbre, and Mata Ortiz movements. The American Art scene from 1940s on, like Rothko, Pollock, Smithson and DeKooning. Ancient Chinese, Japanese, and Korean pottery. Ming dyansty blue and white. Tamba ware from Japan. Caligraphy and ink paintings from each of the three Asian countries. The Leach and Cardew influence. Also contemporary work from clay artists such as DeWeese, Shaner, Neely, Clennell, Murphy, McDade, Krupka.. Potters that I believe bring to the table what is required of a thoughtful, amazing clay artist: experience (moving mountains of clay through their hands), wisdom, sensitivity, and conviction.
Another part of my life that greatly influences my work is being outdoors and experiencing nature... I'm an avid fisherman and have enjoyed fishing since I was a small child. If I can't get outside for a long period of time, I become depressed..and if I'm depressed, my work is affected. When I make, I don't sit and think..Oh this is from that, or whatever..but because of those influences, I become a type of filter to it all, and from my hands and ideas, comes something uniquely my own...
So, Joe, I hope that response was good enough for you. It's a great question...and I'm glad to be able to sit, think and write about it.