I am amazed to find I have been making clay art for over forty years. The first half of that I fired in low temperatures in an electric kiln. For the last twenty I have been firing my works in a wood kiln in the hill country and transporting my pottery ninety miles from my home in Austin. Using slab and coil construction, I hand build with stoneware and porcelain clay bodies. I have always been influenced by the natural world and these last few years animal and bird imagery have been a focus. Sometimes in my studio I look up from my work table and see many eyes looking at me from the shelves; ceramic owls, birds, rabbits, mice, even the occasional Chupacabra. They make me laugh and laughter is good medicine. I use very little glaze, mostly for interiors and let flames and ash of the wood firing give me serendipitous patterns and colors on the exterior of the piece. I like the firing results being random although there are disappointments, of course. I fire with a group of about 10 people and we take turns working to share the 20 hour firing. Growing older, I now think of a load of pottery in a flame filled kiln as a metaphor for life. The process often seems uncontrollable, transformational, full of beauty, effort, surprises good and bad and, finally, not always the results you hoped for.