Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve loved plants and animals as long as I can remember. I’m always trying to figure out how to get to know the local ecology better and to convey the rich textures and personalities of the world around me through art.

I chose the name of a Pacific coast salamander, because in myth, salamanders were thought to be born from fire despite living in moist habitats. Symbolically, this overlaps with the process of creating ceramics and turning damp earth into stone by passing it through fire and intense heat. This metamorphosis feels magical even though I know the science behind it. In real life, many salamanders also undergo metamorphosis when maturing from juveniles into adults (though ensatina don’t) so the symbolism holds.

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