As a child, I always wanted to be a potter and a weaver. This was a time when a parent could not go down to the nearest Art/Craft Store and buy clay or a scaled down potter’s wheel or loom for an aspiring artist. A lot has changed over the years in working with clay as well as fiber. The access to ceramic and weaving/fiber materials and equipment is amazing as well as the access to classes. Along with studying ceramics, I studied weaving/fiber arts and received a MA in Clay and Fiber from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
I have been a clay artist long enough to have had to build my kilns, mix the clay and glazes-formulating my own recipes. Being a clay artist is always labor and time intensive with many different tasks going into the finished pieces. This long tenure of working in clay also gave me the opportunity to study under 3 World War II vets who used the GI bill to study ceramics at Alfred State University in New York state. They were a part of group of ceramic artist who were responsible for the amazing renaissance in clay starting in the 1950’s. I also was an apprentice to another of these Alfred graduates in Mexico City, Mexico. I also studied at the Beauties Artes in Mexico City.
My loom has not been used in many years, but I continue to work in fibers with my ceramic pieces using basket making and macramé techniques in my unique-one of a kind clay pieces. Using stoneware and sometimes porcelain clay, I throw functional ware which is food safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. I like using dark clays and leave portions of the piece unglazed so there is play between the beauty of the glazed areas and the dark clay.
In all my work there is a part of myself. I am now a full time studio potter having recently retired from a long tenure in the Oakland Public School District. Early on in my studio career, I realized I needed more interaction with people than the solitude my studio offered and I found a balance with the energy and noise in a classroom. Working in clay has always been a constant in my adult life-getting me through many of the difficulties in my life. I feel extremely fortunate to have making art a strong part of my life.