"When I transform raw clay into a jar or a bowl I am like the gardener who plants a seed and tends it through the seasons, learning patience and perseverance, loving the daily rhythm of work, and valuing the preciousness of the final product in my hands."
Working in Santa Fe, New Mexico for twenty-five years has exposed ceramist Mike Walsh to endless landscapes and wonderful artists that have influenced him in many ways. Walsh's work is characterized by a strength and warmth both of form and surface detail, drawn from the natural settings of the Southwest and from Walsh's personal aesthetic perspective. His simplicity of line makes his pottery equally at home in both rustic and contemporary settings. It also reflects the serenity of the surrounding mountains and mesas. The deep colors and textures seen in his "Iron and Ash" series are achieved by fusing ashes and iron-rich clay; the dramatic result recalls the deeply shaded forests and aspen glades of the southern Rocky Mountains.
These traditional designs are produced primarily on the potter's wheel. After the stoneware has dried, it is placed in a gas kiln and bisque fired. Later, glazes are applied and the stoneware is fired for a second time. For Walsh, working with clay is a matter of tactility, sensitivity, and careful, meditative attention.