I am an animal lover, and particularly of dogs, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude, for companionship throughout my life. The Dogimals were originally inspired by listening to the howls of coyotes at night, in the deep woods of Upstate New York. At that time, I imagined that they were howling for all animals on the planet. When I returned home I began to build them as a bit of a whimsy. Hence they are not strictly dogs, but dog-like, as a representation of all animal beings which are being so impacted by our human ways. As the years have gone by, what began as a whimsy has developed further. I use the skin of the Dogimal as a canvas to make curious marks and symbols representing the mysterious, the unknown, the primitive and the potential of all life. This decoration relates to my work as a painter and the method I use to begin a painting, where I explore the potential and duality of the marks. As such, you can take the Dogimals seriously, or you can just love them for their quirky shapes and surfaces.
This little fellow is made from white stoneware clay, with an oxide wash into which I have sgraffitoed the marks. Embedded into the mark is a sigil (symbol for) good fortune, so he comes with good energy! He has temoku toes and a clear glaze, and is fired at a very high temperature in a gas kiln. Its a reduction firing, meaning that the oxygen in the kiln is reduced at a certain point of the firing cycle which allows the metals deep in the clay to be pulled to the surface, generating all kinds of interesting colours and effects. Theres nothing quite like it for a potter!