I started making cups after serving for five-plus years in the Marine Corps. I took advantage of the GI Bill and found Art at a community college. I did not make cups when I joined the Marines.
With the 1st Marine Division I traveled to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (to take part in the ’91 Gulf War), and as an Embassy Guard, I spent fifteen months in Rome and fifteen months in Paris. In the time since I was discharged from the Marines, my cups have taken me across the United States and to China, Vietnam (near where my father fought), France (Vent des Forêts), and Germany. I work on the UC Berkeley campus, where I am exposed to people, art, music, and ideas from around the world. As I and the cups travel, the world seems smaller, and no place is unaffected by war.
The times I have witnessed the cups being something more than just a cup are the times when someone shared a story about the images on the cup. Someone who had firsthand experience with that insignia or image and shared a story with someone they love. The power of the cups comes from the people they resonate with.
Someone once said something like, “Art is the possibility of love between strangers.” I like the idea of being able to share a beverage and a story. Working in ceramics, I have the possibility of sharing a beverage and a story with someone 500,000 to 1,000,000 years from now. From my hand to your hand to some point thousands of years in the future.