A little, okay, a LOT about me

Hi.  Okay, I figured I had better post a little bio, or a big bio (we’ll see how long-winded I get), so that you all know who I am, where I am from, why I am here, and how long I have been around or haven’t been around.

From the top…. I was born in Ohio, raised mainly in St Louis, but moved around to a couple different states as a kid. 

After my first year of art school at Memphis College of Art, my parents bought a piece of property about a mile outside of Hartville, MO on which they planned to retire. Since they were nowhere near retiring, they asked if I would caretake the property until the day came when they could live here full time.  I was 19.  I wonder if anyone remembers that weirdo girl who worked at Casey’s, who made pizzas and donuts and wore her hair in multiple braids and was just all-around kind of kookie.  That was me. 

I moved back and forth to Hartville over about a 15-year time span; sometimes spending a few years, sometimes just a few months.  I always came back to help maintain the land and was never too far away.  I lived in Memphis, Eastern TN, New Jersey, and Upstate New York.  I went to Missouri State back when it was SMS.  I studied Biology, Animal Science, Anthropology, and eventually, Ceramics/Art. 

I moved to New Jersey and got married.  After a year, we moved back to Hartville to finish our college careers and the summer before I started school, a friend of mine and I bought a kiln that came with a bunch of molds; you know, like, little teddy bear Christmas ornaments and small statues to paint. I wanted to do more. I wanted to learn all there was about clay. So, I bought a wheel. I learned about creating my own mugs, cups, bowls.  I learned all about making my own glazes.  And then I started going to school for it.  I needed hands on, real life, real time, instruction.  It was the best two and a half years of my college career.  I learned skills and techniques and how to keep pushing myself and how to let work go.  I learned tons about art and art history. 

Before I could finish my degree in Ceramics and a year after I gave birth to my son, we moved to New York, so that my husband could work on his PhD.  While I was in NY, I found a studio where I could work late nights after my son was asleep and I joined the ceramics community, even becoming president of the clay guild for two years.  My husband got a job offer in Oregon after he finished his PhD, so we moved!  I eventually finished my degree in art, but my emphasis was in painting because the ceramics department was subpar in instruction.  During all this time, in New York and then in Oregon, I started teaching clay art, pottery, and painting at non-profit art centers.  I will be honest, those first years of teaching were brutal.  There were times when I hated it.  But what I learned as I continued teaching throughout the years, was that I was also learning. With each new class, each new question or problem to be solved, I learn something new and far more than I would have learned holed up in my studio cave with no contact with the outside world!  I learned how to teach, and that is huge. I also learned that I absolutely love watching everyone’s successes and helping them through their fails.  My enthusiasm for Wins knows no bounds!

Before leaving Oregon, I was teaching two classes in a clay studio, Calapooia Clay (one of the best studios I have ever taught in and the owners are pretty freakin awesome too...shout out to Ed and Felicia Sweet!), beginning wheel throwing and intermediate wheel throwing. I also had set up my own studio where I lived, and was teaching out of that.  Due to the expense of Oregon, and the limitations of the space that I had, I couldn’t really expand so I decided to conquer my goal of setting up a studio in Missouri.  So, here I am! 

My kid is grown and doing his thing and he is amazing…he takes after his mom.  After moving to Oregon, his father and I divorced, so I have been a single mom from the time my son was 6.  I have two dogs.  One was a fight/bait dog the first 5 years of his life, he’s sweet, kind, and is about 14 now.  My other dog is 8 and my bestie.  I’m living with my folks for the time being (try doing THAT when you’re a grown-ass adult).

My goal in life is to continue working, creating a line/brand of work and exploring, constantly, new ways of doing things.  I never want to get ‘stuck’ on the idea that “one size fits all” or that my way is the only way, in art and in life.  And I want to bring this joy that comes with creating pottery to anyone who is interested.  Even if it is just for some time away from the stresses of life (maybe I should say especially if it is to get away from the stresses).

 I encourage every one of you to join me in this great adventure!