After taking clay classes at a local art center in Richmond, Va for about four years, I started working for two potters while holding a regular job. There I learned basic production and studio techniques to add to what I learned at the art center. I worked part-time for them for about seven years, until one day the potter I was working for thought it was time for me to do a show. He and my family helped me enter the show and build a display booth. After the exceptional success of my first show, I decided to quit my job and become a full-time potter and make my living that way.
As it turns out I met my future husband at that first show. He had been a full-time potter for years. I bounced around from one temporary studio to another, until my husband and I moved in together and I started working out of his studio. Unfortunately in 2005 my husband was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig disease. He passed away in 2008. Since that time I have opened the studio to other artists, developed the store front into a retail gift shop and rent space in my basement to a paint your own pottery business. I continue to travel to craft shows up and down the east coast where I sell my work, and I also sell my work out of my own shop as well as out of a few other museum gift shops and galleries.
My 4,000 square foot studio allows me to equip the space with all the tools that I need to make any type of work I choose.Currently I am working with low-fire earthenware clay and a large palette of underglaze colors. I use the potter’s wheel primarily, with a good degree of mold work. This includes press-molding with slabs and casting. A lot of my work is then assembled by stacking parts and adding feet as well as playful knobs and handles. My work has evolved from a simple approach to a more layered and complicated process involving sgraffito and painting, both free form and deliberate. I have a whimsical approach to both form and surface treatments, yet my work still remains primarily functional.
When you first see my work, the forms of the pieces are obvious in their function, yet there is an innocent playfulness about them. then surface looks very colorful and busy but upon a closer look, you can see layers with checkerboard pattern and hidden sgraffito symbols. These symbols are communication signals used between drifters and hobos during the great depression. Most of the symbols are from the United States, but some are European. I am looking to add more international symbols to communicate to a more global audience. In addition to these symbols, I try mainly to appeal to people with a playful, light hearted, happy approach to my work so that you get a positive and good feeling. I like to think that my work makes people smile, and everyone can relate to that.