"I'm probably a potter because when I was a little kid my mother told me not to play in puddles. And ever since I've wanted to play in puddles." But it took a few years before that defiance took creative form. "In my senior year in college I took a clay course. I was, as Paulus Berensohn describes it, 'kidnapped by the clay.' Clay chose me. It felt absolutely right." He continues, "In Tom Robbins' book Another Roadside Attraction, the character Navaho Sandpainter was asked 'What is the purpose of art?' and his answer was, 'To provide what life does not.' A friend of mine says that the role of the artist in contemporary western culture is what the shaman was in the hunter-gatherer societies. I think the connection with our roots and with nature is what our contemporary culture does not provide. And that's what I'd like to help heal."