I have been on this pottery making journey for forty years now after falling ridiculously in love with the process as an apprentice in the Berea college ceramics program. At the time I was certain that making pots could change the world, and all I can say at this point is that it has certainly changed mine. After receiving my MFA from LSU, I found the way of working I still use today. I have always been a studio potter, selling my work in wholesale and retail venues.
The accolades I’ve received and the milestones I’ve reached have been pragmatic and fairly humble. From the scorching, exhausting four day shows in Ann Arbor Michigan, to the two tornados in Texas, to selling out in Winter Park Florida; juried craft shows have provided most of my income as well as my benchmarks for success for more than twenty years. During that time I received many, many awards. I am most proud of the several times I won the “Best in Clay" award, with the Winter Park awards being a particular highlight.
Over the years I have exhibited in beautiful galleries from Maine to California. I occasionally taught in such wonderful clay and craft institutions as Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL, Clayworks in Charlotte, NC and The Penland School of Craft in Penland, NC.
In the year 2000, I received a request from Robin Hopper to contribute to his book, Functional Pottery: Forms and Function in Pots and Purpose. This became the first of eight books my work is included in. Although my work is included in a few public collections and I have had some minor successes with grants and commissions, by and large I have poured most of my energy directly into making.
I live now, with my husband, two nearby sons and a dog in Bakersville, NC, a beautiful small town chock full of artists and craftsmen. Please come see me sometime, just call first!
I like to remind myself that life is indeed a gift. Making pots helps me to both remember and celebrate this belief. The process of exploring and reinventing within the inherent parameters of functional pottery inspires me to explore and question my assumptions within the inherent parameters of daily living as well. My influences range from the Land of Oz to the Isle of Crete, from Antonio Gaudi to Dr. Seuss. I use lavish textures and embellishments to underscore and make obvious the time and devotion I put into each piece. The organic forms both lumpy and lyrical, the sometimes ungainly proportions or the quirky feet are really all about the fun I have in the process of making. My use of color is simply an overt reference to joy. I want what I make to reflect my ideal, that our lives can be be imbued with a sense of energy and joy, which can be communicated and shared. That hope is what helps me move forward.