I have been exploring with clay since taking classes at a community center in Boulder, Colorado in 1997. Now, in the Pacific Northwest, the focus of my work has been making wheel-thrown functional ware. As I explore different clays, construction methods, and surface decorating techniques, I’m also drawn to different firing methods. For the past three years, I have had a focused exploration in a single firing technique which I refer to as ‘horsehair Raku’ firing. The horsehair singes and burns as I apply it to a hot pot, leaving permanently scorched, intensely black smoky patterns. These beautifully random markings can never be totally controlled, and the results must be accepted as a gift bestowed by the elements. My passion is for the process; I find the technique of horsehair Raku both mysterious and mesmerizing. Leaving my work and its surface to the randomness of the elements is a captivating challenge. Within this ancient technique, there are several opportunities to add new twists, including my addition of mica powders to obtain a colorful, shimmery smooth surface, and my search for a terra sigillata, which provides a lustrous high sheen. The historic beginnings and elemental qualities of this process are what inspire my work.