Where it all Began
Making things with my hands is essential. I’ve been working with clay for 50 years and with fabric since I was a kid. Using simple materials like cloth and clay to make something beautiful gives me tremendous joy. I attribute my passion for making things to my mother, a seamstress, and to my father, a woodworker.
My Beginnings with Cloth
I’ve been working with cloth most of my life. As a child, my favorite toy (besides my fire engine) was a doll I designed clothing for by pinning fabric on her hard rubber form.
My mother was a seamstress and taught me how to sew. As a teenager I sewed my own clothes to save money. Mom and I made trips to fabric stores and let our eyes feast on all the colors and patterns of the cloth. We felt every bolt to experience its “hand”. The love of fabric and sewing was a passion we shared until her death.
I no longer sew my own clothes, but I transferred my fabric addiction to quilting, and then to making pocketbooks and other functional items. It is important to me to make objects that people use and enjoy in their everyday life.
My Beginnings with Clay
As a woman in my late twenties I took my first pottery class at the local YWCA. It was love at first touch. The unfired clay responded instantly to everything I did. The possibilities were endless. I couldn’t get enough. I still can’t. Even though I was teaching 5th grade at the time (which I did for 33 years), I continued to take class and apprenticed with a wonderful potter named Jayne Shatz.
In 1986 I established my home studio, buying a wheel and a kiln. Many of my pots are thrown on the potters wheel, although I also do slab construction by hand. I make my own lead free glazes. Opening a kiln after a glaze firing still brings apprehension. There are so many variables and the influence of the firing environment rules. Sometimes the results are magical. Sometimes, not so much.
And so I continue my journey in cloth, and clay, and life with gratitude for what has been and with a sense of wonder for what will be.