At my home studio, February 2022
Hi there, thanks for stopping by!
From the time I was a child, clay has always been one of my favorite creative outlets and one I literally could not get my hands into enough. The memories are vivid: the excitement of opening a box of multi-colored modeling clay, the disappointment in the standard childhood “dough” that dries crusty, or holding my breath during 8th grade art club hoping “Cat Sculpture #2” wouldn't blow up in the kiln this time. During a brief time studying music in college, I would find excuses to pass by the ceramic studio on campus, walking slowly, peeking inside at the pottery wheels and tables--oh, how I wished I was in there!
Eventually, in 2014, after several years of raising my kids at home, uber-volunteering, and starting to officially work as an event coordinator and in marketing, I signed up for my first ceramics class through my local Parks and Recreation department. From day one I was hooked and knew that this adventure would not be just a fleeting hobby. Quickly, the dream of having a home studio, a place to work anytime and not be limited to a single class session, took shape. I started collecting all the items I might someday need - bits of random shelving, tables, containers of all sizes, and extra packaging materials. Scouring the local resale websites for equipment culminated in a spur of the moment 8-hour drive across Arizona to purchase a gently used pottery wheel--she’s quirky, but steady. Construction of an official home studio began in Fall 2019 when we began the process to close off an area of our newly built garage to house a dedicated working space. Weekends were spent framing, drywalling, texturing, and laying tile. And just after the world shut down in the Spring of 2020, the studio was ready to go. Without my twice-weekly classes to attend, it was finally time to start getting down to business at home.
My focus is primarily on wheel-thrown ceramics and exploring unique surface designs, such as mishima and sgraffito, along with finding new ways to add color, pattern and texture. I prefer to work with porcelain and other light-colored clays that allow for the colors and glazes to really shine through. I also love to work with a dark, rich-colored clay, and I occasionally create pieces with that as well. In my home studio I fire to Cone 5 with Matilda, a mid-90’s Duncan electric kiln that I purchased 5 years ago (during the above mentioned “collecting equipment” phase). Why did we name her Matilda? Because she’s an old classic, a little magical, a little quirky, and each firing is a bit of a waltz with her. Matilda even got a technological update recently with thermocouples and a new computer controller. Now she’s a bit robotic, too, thanks to our resident engineer. And we have a new addition to the clay family, Lindy, my brand-new L&L kiln. She's bigger than Matilda, super shiny, and fires consistently to the higher temps I need. Lindy and Matilda make a great team!
I’ve always been drawn to dishes and vessels of all kinds - bowls, cups, glasses, plates big and small, vases--and love the concept of creating something from just a lump of clay using an art form that has been around for centuries. I love holding and feeling pieces, seeing them on the shelf, bringing them out for everyday use and for special occasions. Knowing that those pieces can connect us to both the past and the future makes them even more meaningful.