Living life in the mountains

Functional pottery seems to me an intimate way to experience art. When we use pottery to cook, to eat, to garden, to complete daily tasks, we are really interweaving art and ourselves. As I have explored pottery over the last several years as a maker and reflected on my relationship to it, it has begun to take on a larger than life presence in my day. I believe this is why I find myself exploring scale in my work. What does a pie plate feel like when it is 6 inches wide? What about 20 inches? How does changing the scale change the impact the piece has in my life. Does it make me feel smaller in its presence? What does it mean to be small in the presence of something unnecessarily large? What does it mean to be unnecessary?

I started my ceramics business in 2011 after receiving my Masters of Education in Visual Arts from SUNY New Paltz. 

I have my childhood to thank for leading me towards pottery. Growing up in the Penfield School District outside of Rochester, NY, I had access to wonderful facilities staffed with teachers who were talented in their fields both as educators and artists.

Over the next couple years, I grew my business out of my parents basement, converting their garage into a kiln shed. I don't think I would have the courage or knowledge to start and grow a crafts business if it wasn't for my parents and older brother. They were always supporting and encouraging me. My father, a small business owner, taught me the dedication that goes into being a successful small business owner. My mother and brother, both highly organized and professional people, taught me how to think for business, not just for art.

During that time I also worked as a pottery instructor at the Memorial Art Gallery, a place I had taken pottery classes as a kid. A time and community I still remember fondly and frequently.

In 2014 my husband Nick and I moved to Asheville, NC so we could enjoy the mountains, and so I could pursue a life of pottery. I found work as a production potter at Hank Goodman Stoneware, Black Mountain Studios, and Cathy Gerson Studios where I saw first hand how a studio pottery business is run while at the same time honing my skills at production. These experiences are truly invaluable to me. 

After working in production for a few years, and after a failed first attempt, it became time to try again and start my own business with both feet in.

It was at this time I joined The Village Potters, a community studio space in Asheville, in order to explore my relationship to my pottery more deeply and to learn from skilled potters in the long established tradition of master and apprentice. While under their mentorship I learned even more about how to run a business, how to improve my skills, and how to juggle learning and making money with my pots at the same time.  It was in this environment my business began to really take off.

It was also at The Village Potters where the North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival was born. I along with several other fellow studio mates, drawn together by our love of ceramics, eachother, and having a good time, decided to start a festival. We are very happy to work on this annual event together and through it, be a part of the greater national, and hopefully some day international, ceramics world. 

Now all of my time is split between pottery, hiking, board games, and generally enjoying life in the mountains.

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