I'm An RN-How Did I End Up Making Pottery
In 2006 my youngest child headed off to college. I knew how much I would miss him because I had sent the first two off to college over the preceding 3 years. I was now an empty nester. YIKES! How did this happen! More importantly, now what? Back to work at the hospitals? - I just wasn't sure that would be right for me. After years of working in hospitals and doctors offices, raising 3 children and managing the financial side of my husbands photography business, I really wanted to do something just for me.
Within a few months I decided to try a pottery class I found through one of the community connections I had used to find activities for my 3 children at various times over the previous 21 years. I spent my first 3 hours of that class with a baseball size lump of clay on the wheel trying to center it without any noteworthy success but ... for some reason ... I was hooked before those 3 hours had passed! Within 2 months I was renting shelf space at a community studio, coming in to "play with the mud" every chance I could. This was something just for me!
That first Christmas I gave everyone in our family gifts of pottery - despite the obvious short comings of that early work - everyone responded in an amazingly positive way and they have all continued to love my work and encourage me from that day to this.
I am currently working out of the same community studio where I started. I continue to take classes because there is just soooo much to learn about this versatile medium, I never want to stop learning and growing. I love the spirit at our community studio, it is rich with encouragement, generosity and inspiration. I believe I would still love what I do if I were not part of such an amazing clay community but I would surely be missing out on something big. I would not however have the skills and understanding of this craft if it were not for my mentor Chea, an amazing potter who embodies the spirit of the pottery community in his willingness to share his knowledge and skills with a level of patience I have never before experienced, for his shared gift I will be forever grateful.
Most of my pieces are wheel thrown and fired in a cone 10 reduction kiln. I also do hand building, slip casting with plaster molds I have made, fire in cone 6 oxidation and have tried my hand at wood firing. I have worked with stoneware in the past but I am currently using porcelain as I explore form, function, texture and glaze. Form has always been of interest to me, I am amazed, for example, at how seemingly small changes in the lines of a vessel while throwing or trimming can take it from appearing grounded and bottom heavy to floating and light. It seems silly to say but function is essential to a functional vessel, if my mug hits my nose or the handle doesn't feel comfortable when I hold it, it's not going to be the mug I want to curl up with on a cozy Saturday morning. Textures and glazes add to the finished piece like icing and decorations on a cake, it might be intricate or simple, glossy or matte, multi color or simply white or black but what ever it is, it adds to the voice of the piece. As I explore these elements of pottery making I am looking for ways to integrate them harmoniously into each unique piece I make.