Twenty-five years ago, in 1976, Dennis closed his pottery studio in Suttons Bay, married Katherine Bean and moved to twenty acres of maples near Kingsley, Michigan. Over the next two decades, together Katy and Dennis raced sled dog teams; operated a carriage business in Traverse City; and raised two great children; Lindsay (now 24 and a 2004 graduate of Northern Michigan University) and Carl (now 21 and a Senior in Graphic Design at Western Michigan University).
Always in the background was the potterís wheel buried somewhere in the barn, and the thousand, or so, kiln firebrick piled in the same place, next to the barn, and amongst the once small maple saplings. In 2001, after nearly twenty years in a successful real estate career in Traverse City, Dennis enrolled at Grand Valley State University to complete a bachelors degree that he had begun way back in 1963, but had been interrupted, first by the Viet-Nam war, and a second time by a young manís move to the idyllic Leelanau County where he wanted to start a pottery. With no hint of the direction that these new courses would eventually lead, Dennis discovered a new interest in literature and writing, and re-kindled an old interest in pottery. As part of his Senior Thesis, Dennis studied both the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi and its relationship to Cha-no-yu, the Japanese tea ceremony. Following that, in January 2003, Dennis arranged, for his Practicum, to work in association with the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City: building, with a group, a full-sized replica of a Japanese Tea House and preparing to conduct a demonstration of Raku pottery during The Art of Japan show in early spring of 2003 show.
Those raku firings led to building a new gas kiln in 2004 and an interest in porcelain and Shino glazes. Dennis' work is currently available at the Dennos Museum Gift Shop and Art & Soul Gallery in Traverse City; as well as at our gallery at 1200 West 11th Street, Traverse City. Stop by anytime.
Wayne State University - Ceramics study - 1970-1971.
To view my Powerpoint presentation on Mimbres pottery
Pots made at Wayne State University - 1971
click to see larger images