Full disclosure: my interest in clay was not a “love at first sight” type of deal. Actually, in middle school when I took my first ceramics class, I often found myself pretty frustrated with clay. If you used a time machine to go back to 2001 and asked my younger self “Do you think you’ll grow up to be a potter?” the response would probably be something along the lines of “My parents say that I shouldn’t talk to strangers coming out from a tear in the space time continuum but there is no way I’m going to be a potter because when I grow up I’m going to be a cat.”
My passion for ceramics grew in this tiny little public university studio tucked between a dormitory and a giant parking garage. Following the recommendation of a good friend, I took “Pottery and the Vessel” unaware of the full effect that 3 elective credits would create. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the amazing mentorship of my professor Chotsani and the community created being around fellow artists and clay explorers. That spring semester, I found myself part of my first pottery squad. We would work together from twilight to midnight, developing our throwing skills and making the occasional drive to McDonalds for that late night french fry fix. We would practice our “Thriller” dance moves as we waited for the clay body to set up in the spring sun. We were a diverse group of ladies that are forever united through ceramics.
While every artist probably shudders when they visit their parents’ house, which tends to be a museum of work we’re hoping never surfaces to the public eye, I find the experience to be somewhat grounding. Trust me, my right eye still twitches looking at my old work but those early pieces also remind me of the journey that I’ve taken to loving clay. I’ve come a long way from the lopsided star shaped candle holder with crescent moon cutouts.