60520 Manzanita 205
Mountain Center
California 92561, USA
tel: +1 (760) 349 3291
fax: +1 (760) 349 8009


Friends and colleagues

my home and studio


Olsen packing the Kanayama kiln, 2005

the first firing of the Kanayama cross-draft kiln in 2003.


"Forty years ago, in 1961, I began a journey that would set the course for the rest of my life. I left the University of Southern California (USC), where I was working on my Master of Fine Arts degree under F. Carlton Ball and Susan Peterson, following my undergraduate studies at Redlands University. I headed for Japan where I would become the first Westener at the Kyoto City College of Fine Arts (Bidai) Ceramic Department.

I began my studies under National Treasure Ceramist, Tomimoto Kenkichi, studio potter and President of the Bidai, and lived and worked in Tomimoto's Senniju studio and at the Bidai ceramic department for three years. Shortly after my arrival, Tomimoto visited the work room at the Bidai where Yutaka Kondo, Mutsuo Yanagihara, Professor Fujimoto and I worked. He walked in, looked at my Carlton Ball lamp base forms, went "Baaaah" three times, and mumbled as he left, "Westener people just can't throw and shouldn't bother to come to Japan." The next day Tomimoto directed Professor Kondo Yuzo (later to become a National Treasure Ceramist himself) to oversee my throwing and general craftmanship.

My three year apprenticeship had begun . . . . "


Click on the links left to see some of my friends and colleagues I have had the pleasure of knowing and working alongside during my career, and some picures of my home and studio high in the desert of California.